Isle of Man: The Tale of the Tourist Trophy

The Isle of Man offers road racing in its truest form.

There’s a tiny country between England and Ireland in the Irish Sea which is hardly spottable on the map. The island is known for its scenic beauty with climbing meadows, sea beds and ruined historic castle. Through the island runs a beautiful fine road which is used by the locals for daily usage. The island is open to tourism for 50 weeks in a year. However, the remaining two weeks are kept for something else. The world calls it the Isle of Man: Tourist Trophy.

The Tourist Trophy (TT) is a road race unlike any other in the world. For two weeks, the Isle of Man and its roads are shut for the TT to take place. Imagine you are in a village and there’s a road passing through it, which is used by the people. Suddenly, you spot a group of a motorcycle passing through that road at over 200 KMPH speed. That’s a brief description of TT.

The TT is a 111-year-old race that’s the dream of many riders. However, most of them do not take part, given the dangerous nature of the race. Fun fact, once MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez was asked about TT. He replied by saying, “I have a lot of respect for the riders who compete there, but I don’t like it. I like to have fun and enjoy riding and testing limits. For me to compete on the Isle of Man is to risk my life, that’s how I see it. I ride motorcycles to have fun, not to suffer and put my life at risk.”

The champion racer’s comment is enough to describe what TT is. Racers compete over a 37.40 miles (60.1 km) course with over 200 turns, crossing forest, buildings and even lamppost. One minor mistake and a rider can crash into a 100-foot bank, fences or concrete walls. Yet, riders or should we call them brave hearts, take part in this race to win the title of the ultimate racer in the world.

TT is not a typical race where people come to earn money. It’s a place where riders come to win pride and try to become a part of history and tradition. Most of the racers are ordinary people with day jobs. For example, Guy Martin is a truck mechanic who has won it a record 17 times. It’s a race that is loved by many but ridden by few, which is why the Tourist Trophy is known as the world’s greatest and most dangerous race to date.

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