A typical practice day spent at the Isle of Man TT starts in the evening, as the roads close just around dinner time (the Isle of Man’s latitude means the sun sets near 10pm). One finds a good vantage point before the roads close though, which also means choosing a spot that will provide their specatating for the next fews hours, as getting around the Mountain Course is nigh impossible once the bikes get going.
Those few hours are spent watching racers scream by at triple-digit speeds, until the sessions end and the roads re-open. Grabbing a quick bite to eat, spectators typical congregate at the bars where they drink, or the home-stays they sleep, and share what they saw on the course with their mate, over drinks and food of course.
As the night comes to an end, the TV stations air their coverage of the day, which pieces together the day’s events, and adds a cohesive narrative to what was before just a single-corner vantage point. Rinse and repeat this for nearly a week, and you have an idea of why the Isle of Man TT is so special, and less of a race and more of an event.
If you’re not there right now, or haven’t been there before, you probably don’t understand what all this really means, but modern technology can get us pretty close…almost as close as William Dunlop was to Ian Hutchinson tonight, as the pair railed across the mountain section that lends its name to the Snaefell Mountain Course.
It is the sights like these, which one witnesses first-hand on the Isle, that make the TT so special. Triple-digit paces on city streets, only feet apart (and sometimes only inches), racing for every second on the clock. Enjoy!