Sunday, July 12, 2020
A friend recently asked me how many times I had visited the Isle of Man. The short answer is 28 times, but it took some research and searching the memory banks to come up with that number.
Aug., 1974 I rode my brand new 850 Commando Interstate MK2a, which I had bought in Hamilton, Scotland, to Liverpool and took the overnight ferry to the IOM for the Manx GP before starting an overhaul on a submarine at the U.S. sub base in Holy Loch, Scotland, when I worked as a pipe welder for Electric Boat Div., of General Dynamics.
Sept., 1981 After racing at Donnington and Oulton Parks, I borrowed Alan Latham’s BMW and rode over to the IOM via the Heysham ferry for the MGP with the idea of deciding if I wanted to race there.
May/June, 1982 Raced in the Formula 3 TT on a 350 Aermacchi, finishing 12th after losing time on the last lap in Ramsey replacing the drive chain which had fallen off.
May/June, 1983 Raced in the F-2 and F-1 TTs on a 600 Moriwaki Kawasaki (12th) and a 950 bevel drive Ducati (DNF).
Aug., 1983 Raced in the first Classic Manx GP on a Matchless G-50 finishing 9th Senior after the motor inhaled a stone and bent a valve.
May/June, 1984 Raced in the F-2 TT on a 600 TT-2 Ducati (21st after a long pit stop to straighten a shift lever and replace a bolt in the seat), F-1 TT on the same 600 Ducati (DNF-burst oil line), and the Senior Historic TT (1st).
Aug., 1984 Passed through the IOM for a day or two on my way from the Ulster GP to Brno, for the Czech GP, racing a TT-2 Ducati.
June, 1985 Spectated at the TT after breaking my ankle at Sears Point 19 May.
Aug.,1986 Raced in the Senior Classic Manx GP on G-50 Matchless (DNF-piston broke)
Aug., 1988 Raced in the Senior Classic Manx GP on G-50 Matchless (2nd, 38.4 sec. behind Phil Nichols, but with the fastest lap in the race).
Aug., 1989 Raced in Senior Classic Manx GP on G-50 Matchless (DNF-crashed at the Bungalow on 3rd lap with almost a minute lead when the frame broke and set the fastest lap in the race).
Aug., 1990 Raced the Junior Classic Manx GP on AJS 7R (DNF when handlebar broke at Quarry Bends). and Senior Classic on G-50 Matchless (2nd, 2.8 seconds behind Bob Heath).
Aug., 1991 Raced the Junior Classic Manx GP on an AJS 7R (16th after shift lever broke) and Senior Classic on a G-50 Matchless (DNF-holed a piston).
Aug., 1992 Raced the Senior Classic Manx GP on G-50 Matchless (38th after gearbox mainshaft broke exiting Creg-ny-Baa on last lap and coasted and pushed the approximate 3.5 miles to the finish).
Aug., 1993 Raced the Junior Manx GP on a 350 Benelli four (DNF-Crashed at Kerrowmoar on first lap and was helicoptered to Nobles Hospital with a dislocated right hip and broken left fibula).
June, 2002 Rode an 1954 AJS 7R3 in the Lap of Honour at the TT
Aug. 2004 Raced in the Senior Classic Manx GP on an Arter Matchless G-50 (11th)
Aug., 2005 Race in the Senior Classic Manx GP on an Arter Matchless G-50 (DNF-holed a piston).
Aug., 2006 Spectated at the Manx GP with my friend Mary Harvey and we did some marshaling.
June, 2007 Rode in the Centenary Lap of Honour on the G-50 Matchless on which we had won the ’84 Historic TT.
June, 2011 went to ride in the Lap of Honour on a 1911 Indian replica the of the 1911 winning bike but didn’t make the lap because the handlebar broke at the last minute.
Aug., 2013 Rode the Jurby Festival and the Lap of Honour at the Classic TT on the 1954 AJS 7R3 on which Rod Coleman won the 1954 Junior TT. It holed a piston on the L.O.H.
Aug., 2014 Rode the Jurby Festival and Lap of Honour at the Classic TT on the G-50 Matchless with which we won the ’84 Historic TT 30 years before.
Aug., 2015 Rode the Jurby Festival and Lap of Honour at the Classic TT on the 1954 AJS E-95 ‘Porcupine’
Aug., 2016 Rode the Jury Festival and Lap of Honour at the Classic TT on the Arter Matchless ‘Wagon Wheels’ on which Peter Williams had three time finished 2nd in the Senior TT.
Aug., 2017 Rode the Honda RC165 250cc 6 cylinder at the Jurby Festival. Steve Plater rode it in the Lap of Honour, but in dropped a valve on Sulby straight.
Aug., 2018 Rode the Jurby Festival and Lap of Honour on the Benelli 350 four that I had crashed in the Junior Classic Manx 25 years before.
Aug., 2019 Rode the Jurby Festival and Lap of Honour on the Surtees Special 7R.
The vast majority of these visits were sponsored by Team Obsolete and I rode on T/O bikes.