The Isle of Man
My contribution to the total mileage of the Globetrotter project only amounts to 1605.75 miles and most of that was on motorways and autoroutes. Fortunately the last 37.73 miles makes up for the monotony of much of the previous 1568.02. A lap of the TT course is always interesting, even in December.
I’m not an expert on The Mountain Course but I’ve ridden round here lots of times, and with every visit it seems to fit together a little better. After my first visit I thought of it as three sections, Douglas to Ballacraine, Ballacraine to Ramsey, Ramsey to Douglas. Then you start breaking those sections down, adding in other places, corners, straights, landmarks and pubs around the course, remembering the places where you watched particular races. Now, after I guess 15 visits, I think I know the course, and the Island, pretty well. Though the section from Ginger Hall to Ramsey is still baffling.
The TT’s Mountain Course was first used in 1911, when it was little more than a track and the first competitor round had to open the gates. Roads which climb a mountain, and then descend on the other side, are always going to be memorable. But it’s not just a challenging road, it runs through beautiful scenery too.
One of my favourite things about The Island, on a clear day, is the view from up on The Mountain. Standing at Guthrie’s Memorial on Friday we had a great view west across the sea to Ireland. Continuing along the course to the east side of the Mountain we stopped Windy Corner and admired another amazing view to the snow frosted peaks of the Lake District.
It was nice to have someone to show these things to. Timo Schaefer, who’s taking over the Globetrotting Multi’ from me, had never been to The Isle of Man before, but by the end of his second evening he was promising to be back for the TT next year. Mind you, he’d had a couple of beers by then.
We performed a ceremonial handing over of the Globetrotter torch by the scoreboard at the TT grandstand, and then Timo climbed aboard the Multistrada Enduro and headed off towards the ferry, and the last leg of the journey to Bologna. I don’t think that many round the world journeys have included the Isle of Man on their itinerary.