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· Registered
891 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on Dave Roper's e-mail list and thought you might enjoy these updates.
It's Wed. midday and we're ready to go up to
scrutineering shortly for eve. practice. I've got
three laps in so far, one Sat. and two Monday. Last
evening's practice was canceled due to 'mist on the
Mountain'(they won't run practice or a race if the
helicopter can't get to anywhere on the course).
Things are going quite smoothly so far and we've just
done a few minor adjustments. I'm roughly 8th fastest
so far, but there are several fast runner who haven't
gotten in a good lap yet for various reasons. If I
finish in the top ten, I'll be happy. The motor seems
stronger this year and is again bone dry. But I'm not
happy with the fairing and fuel tank,which put me out
in the wind too much. I'm feeling it in my biceps and
I think it's hurting top speed.
The island continues to change a bit with new
buildings, but it still drips in charm and is a
beautiful as anywhere on a sunny day, of which we've
had several.
I'll try to get back here to the Onchan Library to do
an update in a couple of days. DR

· Registered
891 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry I've been so long with a follow-up, but I've
been busy enough that I've not been able to get down
to the Onchan Library when it's been open. I'm in the
mountains of Co. Wicklow, Ireland with my friend Parra
and his wife using there primative computer.
We had quite a delay getting out for Thurs. eve.
practice and, after awhile, Fred Warmsley suggested to
me that maybe my motor was getting hot as it was
smoking a bit. We finally got going and I had a
pretty good couple of laps. Fri. eve it rained before
practice and, though it had stopped before I left, the
roads were quite wet in some places and completely dry
in others. When I tipped it into Windy Corner, I saw
it was quite wet too late and tucked the front end and
had a nice gentle low side crash. I was cokmpletely
unhurt and my leathers barely touched through the
rainsuit. But the bike slid backwards into the gravel
trap and the exhaust was bent up, shiftlever broken,
right clip-on bent, fuel tank bashed in, and the
fairing destroyed. We had good spares and were just
able to get everything straighten out for Sat. eve
practice, the last one before the race. On the first
lap, I found the clip-on was loose, and I took it easy
back to the pits where we tighted it up and I went
back out. The bike had smoked some when we started it
up and a couple of people told me smoked when I took
off for the second lap. About 10-12 of us were
stopped at Ballacraine because there was a bull on the
circuit at the top of Barragarrow. After about 15
minutes they let us finish the lap and I was first
away so had a totally clear run back to the pits,
which was useful. Sunday we spent prepping for the
race and, although we were aware of some soot in the
exhaust, didn't think too much about it as the bike
was still running fine and sounded good.
Monday was a beautiful warm sunny day and we watched
the first couple of laps of the newcomers race from
the bottom of Bray Hill. My race started at 1:15pm
and I was number 20. After I got through Renncullen,
I started to think the motor sounded more rattlely
then it lost power and I clutched it and stopped at
Ballaugh Bridge. In the late 80's, I had stopped at
Ballaugh in practice with a stripped drive belt, and
the marshall there asked me if I'd like a cup of tea.
I said OK and he said to follow him. We walked about
100 yard down the circuit and crossed the road to his
mother-in-laws house and she fed me tea and biscuits
and told stories about the good old days. Well, that
same marshall was there this year(he's been doing it
there for 30 years), and, after the race was over,
took me back to his mother-in-law's for more tea and
biscuits. His son was there and is now racing
himself. He gave me a tour of there garden and orchard
in the back where they keep bees. He gave me a jar of
the honey they sell before my mechanic arrived to pick
me and the bike up. It's experiences like this that
make the Isle of Mann so special andf have kept me
coming back. The other side of it is that four very
experienced, respected classic riders died over the
two weeks. The Isle of Mann is incredibly beautiful,
breathtaking, satisfying, and lethal. I'm constantly
tugged in two directions by it. I'm not sure what
I'll do next year. I am sure it's about the most
intense place I know. DR
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