Archive for May, 2009

IoM – 2009-05-16

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

And so to Saturday.

After being woken up by the lashing rain at 5am, I really didn’t want to come out from under the duvet when the alarm went off… However, it wasn’t raining which was a relief.

Over sausage, bacon and eggs it was definitely starting to cheer up a bit, so we got our kit on and our legs over. We headed up to Douglas and the pits and paddock. They were still setting up for the TT there, and we started a lap of the circuit.

The podium at pit straight

The road was still pretty wet, so we took it very easy! John was a bit miffed because there was a diversion around Schoolhouse corner for some road works. The hairpin caught me out! No surprise there then… What was a surprise was the fog. John kept swimming in and out of my vision – it was all a bit twilight zone! Stopped at Bungalow and couldn’t even see the bridge, 20 meters away. As we got to Windy Corner, the fog lifted, and the views were fantastic. Really beautiful. Whizzed back to the pits, and decided to do another circuit straight away. The roads were starting to dry out a bit, so we could up the ante and get a wiggle on. Got a nice run at Ballaugh Bridge and got a couple of feet off the ground (narrowly avoiding the bus…) and managed a major wheelie through Ballacrye by keeping the gas on in 4th at about 95. Sweet 🙂

Our weapons for the weekend

Stopped off at Schoolhouse and asked the guys if we could ride up to where the road works were, which wasn’t a problem. It turned out that they were only resurfacing a very small stretch, so we could get a good look at Schoolhouse corner so John could sort his lines out. Still a bit foggy on the mountain, but nowhere near as bad as it was. However, dropping down past Kate’s cottage and The Creg, the rain came. Stopped at the pits again to get some shelter, with another guy that had the same idea. Ended up waiting an hour or so for it to ease, by which time it was lunchtime, so headed backwards to The Creg for some steak pie, or in John’s case, another breakfast. 

From the Creg

While we were there, the rain disappeared, and it looked much better, so we got back on it for another lap. Although the rain and fog had gone, it had been replaced by very much wind… Very disconcerting over the mountain! Next time around we swapped bikes. John’s blade was somewhat more powerful than mine, but it didn’t stop John disappearing into the distance on my 675! I really should practice more…

After that, we thought we could squeeze just one more lap before heading to the pub. Me, being a girl, suggested that we take it a bit easy and enjoy the scenery (my wrists and shoulders were rather achey). But, that didn’t happen. We passed some guy on a supermoto style bike, but it was obvious he knew his way around. We then got tangled up with some other gus, and got past them before the mountain, at which point John just buggered off! Mr Moto and I tried in vain to hang on, but not a chance. Stopped at Hillberry for a natter. Mr Moto lived down near where we were staying and had been on the island a year or so, so he did know the roads a bit! We pottered back to Balladuke and then to the pub, for a well deserved pint or 5. And another breakfast!

The condom machine in the pub:

In case of puncture...
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IoM – 2009-05-15

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Friday came.

Up early, feeling a little tired (after a heavy night out with the Swedish contingent…. The Bloody Marys were excellent). Gave the bike a (very) quick wash and trundled off to Triumph to get a new rear tyre. That was all fixed, so I gave it some berries up Chigwell High Road, past an annoying blue BMW 5 series that inconsiderately pulled out in front of me. Which turned out to be an unmarked police car… An apology and a few “Yes Sirs” later I topped up with sans plombe and headed home to pack. Everything fitted in the tank bag, which was nice. Or rather, anything that didn’t fit in the tank bag got left behind.

JRC called at 13:30 as promised and we departed – me from home, him from work.

M25 was its usual miserable, lane-hogging self… But I soon arrived at the car park formerly known as the M1. Promptly got a soaking, but only for about 5 minutes – up ahead it looked a lot brighter, and the traffic eased up as well. So it was a fairly easy run up to junction 19. Just after joining the M6, I spied a red bike behind, which conveniently turned into John. How good was that? Parked up at Corley Services for fuel and comfort, which was a welcome break ™, and it was sunny! It wouldn’t last….

Batted on up to Liverpool (cue dodgy haircuts and moustaches). John expertly guided us through the more salubrious outskirts to the Liver building, and the port next door, with time to spare. The rain came with a vengeance while we were waiting for the ferry. Doh.

The ferry was populated by stereotypical scousers, who were drunk and loud, and stereotypical eastern Europeans who didn’t understand the concept of “No Smoking”.
John managed to pull a young-un. About 4 or 5, and bike mad. She was quite funny. Her dad kept apologising to us! Time passed with the help of crisps and beer, and we were soon disembarking onto a dark, but dry Isle of Man. Had a bit of a misty ride down to Balladuke farm, near Ballabeg. John and Elaine were very welcoming with tea and a beer! We were pretty knackered so it was off to bed.