Sunday, September 23, 2012

Here you can see the fastest toughest and deadliest motorcycle race on the face of the earth. Lets go to Ireland to the place called the Isle Of Man. Ireland is an interesting place to visit with its rolling grass hills and a good pub in every town. You don’t have to go to far in the countryside to see a old medieval castle rising up out of the green grassy slopes. If you like a good Irish bar and you like to ride motorcycles, this island is the place for you. Just make sure you travel in June so, save up your money now.

They have a no rules policy on this island. The island is a tiny independent nation situated in the Irish Sea between Ireland and the United Kingdom. Each summer tens of thousands of spectators and riders flood this Isle Of Man to watch and compete in races that take place on the countries normal roads and streets. The nonstop action is loud and close and very dangerous to all.
Hey, we all want to live dangerously sometimes anyway. The race has a course that is 38 miles long where riders do up to six laps at a time and they reach speeds of up to 200 mph. It is not on a professional track but on public roads up and over mountains and through tiny towns and villages. The professional riders never experienced a course like this before because it is extremely dangerous. The race has taken hundreds of lives throughout the years yet the local authorities have showed little inclination to change the challenge to compete and finish the race.
The drivers of the motorcycles even observe that they get big hugs from their crew when they finish the race because they are just happy that the riders even finish the race alive. The possibility is real that they can crash into someone’s house or crash into a spectator but it is these risks that attract all people there. In the last decade more than three riders have died. Since the race began more than one hundred years ago, 237 riders have lost their lives to this course.
About 100 riders compete in this TT Race or Tourist Trophy as it is known racing everything from juiced up super bikes to two man side cars. On most of the island there isn’t any speed limit. The appeal for fans is because unlike anywhere else, here you are practically part of the action being able to sit anywhere near the road you want to. Most other races anywhere else in the world, you have to be 100 meters away with lots of safety regulations that are not required here.
Steve Parish is a top rider in England and has done this race 8 times. He  is now the reporter that covers the race on TV and says, that people will sit on the most dangerous turns right on the curb with a drink or cup of tea and wait to feel the biker go by a meter away from you at 180 mph.  The Jack Daniels get splattered all over you from your own fear and then you hope you haven’t been injured in the process. The bikers are so close to you one can feel the wind, feel the heat of the bike as it goes by so a good opportunity for a sigh and a hug and maybe a roll around in the green for fun till the next racer goes by.
It is a fun atmosphere in the pubs and restaurants especially if a driver shows up. He knows he will have a date that night but he is lucky to be alive because many riders are dead from a rabbit in the road or from debris still in the road from a previous accident. There you can become taken down from scraping some house hedges; obstacles not found on the road at other races.
Allen Bell runs the race as the Island’s head of State or Chief Minister as he is called. Yes, believe it or not this unsafe event is run by the government. In this day and age there are so many places that say, we don’t want the liability , we don’t want the responsibility and frankly we don’t want people dying. How is this place able to embrace this race from a government?
Mr. Bell says the race is a tradition that has been going on for more than a century and had its first race in 1907 possibly because it was the only place that would host the race. The Island has its own government, own laws and even its own currency and a fierce sense of independence. I would have loved to have seen a old John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara romantic but exciting movie take place under the conditions offered there.
They even have a event called Mad Sunday which is a day in the two week event where the island opens up the same course where the race takes place to any fan who wants to ride it with no rules. Last year five people died and the most ever died in 2005 which was 9 people that year. My brother died from a motorcycle accident. Allen Bell knows that an event like this would not be allowed to take place anywhere in the world because of society’s tribute to humanity. But in his island, they pay their respects to the dead and move their tradition forward and hope for the best.

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