Thursday, June 19, 2014

Linkage and a War Story Retold

First the linkage...

Isle of Man TT: Cool and Unusual Motorcycles

Roads and museums on the IoM feature bikes rarely seen in America

From the linked article.  Does this moto look familiar?

There are a LOT o' cool bikes at the link, if'n yer in to that sorta thing.  Now about the re-telling bit in the post title.
I've posted about TT Week in the Isle of Man and believe me, Gentle Reader, it don't get ANY wilder than that.  Evah.  Both Daytona and Sturgis are more like the Westminster Kennel Club Show than a biker's destination, mainly coz of the racing.  Now there are races at the former... Daytona, but they're on a closed circuit... and there ain't no races at all in Sturgis.  TT Week in the Isle o' Man features a full solid week of road racing on real roads... serious roads.  And then there's the matter of Mad Sunday, which is THE ultimate biker's wet dream.  Let me quote:

On "Mad Sunday" any member of the public can ride the mountain section of the course, which is open one way from Ramsey to Douglas. In 2012 there were just four accidents on the open day - while in previous years there had been dozens. In 2013, eleven spectators were hurt when a rider lost control at Bray Hill on the outskirts of Douglas.
What makes Mad Sunday so Mad?  No speed limits.  None.  Ride as fast as you wanna... on a twisty two lane road that runs over the mountain.  I rode Mad Sunday in 1982 and THAT was my peak mo'sickle experience... nothing will ever top it.

But we digress. I received a box full of correspondence from SN2 yesterday, all of which originated in days o' yore.  I found this lil item among the stack o' stuff:

Yup.  A ticket, about 40 bucks worth, give or take a farthing or six.  There's a bit of a story behind that ticket, the Reader's Digest version about which goes like this...

It was in the early evening, just after dinner, when I decided to go for a little putt on the back roads just outside Douglas.  So, there I was, motoring along at about 60 mph on a two lane country road when I had the livin' bejeezus scared outta me when a guy on a Suzuki RG500 GP bike went screaming past me at about 120 mph or more.  The guy caught me completely by surprise and I inadvertently changed lanes when he blew by me.  (Parenthetical side note: given there's actually no track at the IoM TT, most teams do their testing after hours on the back roads.  This was a case o' that.)  So, it wasn't but three or four minutes later when a friendly constable steps out of the ditch on the side o' the road and waves me over, me bein' caught in a speed trap.  I was incredulous and exclaimed "Didn't you see that guy on the Suzuki in front o' me?"  "Wot Suzuki?" said the constable, in reply.  It dawned on me right there and then that some animals are more equal than others during TT Week.

So... it was off to traffic court the next day to pay my fine (60 mph in a 45), which really pissed me off as I missed the first race while cooling my heels waiting to see the fines clerk.  There really AIN'T no justice in this world, sometimes.

Our mount for TT Week:

That was one seriously quick mo'sickle.
Ah, Former Happy (mo'sickle) Days.


  1. "No justice." Amen to that. And that's a mighty sweet Yamaha that your younger self is so rightly proud of. How's the Caddy working out BTW? I'm getting new car fevah again.

    1. How's the Caddy working out BTW?

      Funny you should ask, coz tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of me acquiring The Tart. A short and sweet bottom line: I'm still in love with the car. It's been relatively trouble-free (one problem: driver's door window motor needed replacing, which was done promptly and painlessly) and has done absolutely everything I've asked it to do. On top of that it's quite possibly THE most beautiful car I've ever owned.

      All that said, I wouldn't be in the market for the latest iteration of the car, i.e., the 2014 model. The reason for that is the absolutely outrageous price increase GM levied on the car. I think my version was priced equitably; I'm not sure that still holds true with the new version.

  2. (a) That is one beautiful Yamaha (who's that skinny kid behind it, btw?)

    (b) The bikes in the IOM Museum article are drool-worthy. Love them old thumpers, yes I do.

    (c) For more wasted hours of picture fun, check out this link:

    1. Why, thank ya, Sir! I was thinking I knew that Stockbridge guy (at your link), but after a little digging I realized he was someone else. Nice Tumblr blog, though.

  3. There is a NATO/USAF water bombing range just off the Isle of Man that required a "Ranger" to act as ATC for all the traffic. Daily flights weren't all that busy and some days there would be none at all. The tour there was 30 days and people at bases all over the UK fought like dogs to get what was in essence a paid vacation with no supervision in a little piece of heaven. There was a guy in one of our sister squadrons (the 91st "Bluestreaks") named Jon Hentoz who became legendary by managing to finagle TWO such assignments in a three-yr tour! Most people (like yer humble commenter) never managed even ONE! LOL

    1. Yeah, I'd have scrapping for that TDY, too. That said, I'd never heard of that range before, Virgil. I wonder if it still exists.


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