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Isle of Man TT blog: My first lap of the mountain course

Published: 04 June 2009

Updated: 19 November 2014

Do you see that stupid grin on my face? That is there because I am just about to finish my first lap of the Isle of Man TT course.

My heart was in my mouth for most of the 37.73 mile lap, not because of my break neck speed, but at  the realisation at just what it is these guys are doing out here.

Although I've seen the circut on the TT endless times, I've never truly appreciated just how 'normal' the roads here are.

When we did our early morning lap, there were school kids queuing at the bus stops, the bin men were out collecting refuse, life was just going on as normal.

The only hint that come 6pm racers would be out doing 120mph laps and more, were the odd protected lamp post or hoarding.

What I had failed to appreciate on the TV was the state of the roads, they undulate where old tarmac meets new, still contain grids and well, are just like the roads you go to work on today.

The section leading to Parliament Square was massively bumpy on my long term Kawasaki ER-6f, so they must be positively bone rattling on a race bike.

I had also failed to appreciate the change in temperature and even, mindset, when you leave the towns and head out on to the Mountain.

In town, houses rush by, the proximity to buildings gives a sense of claustrophobia, then on the mountain those points of referene are gone. Everything feels strangely open and exposed.

The weather is also massively different.

There were moments when I was surprised too, the right hand turn in Ramsey is incredibly tight, as is the first turn on the mountain, then there are sections where the safety measures are to paint rock white.

I was already in awe of TT riders, now I think they are even more crackers than I imagined, and I am just lost for words now I have realised what it is they actually do out there. Awesome.

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