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A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

I started a thread in the TT section in November 2104 asking about course information this thread has now developed into what I suppose would be described as a diary of a Manx Grand Prix Newcomer , me  . What I have been asked to do by a few is to put this into the Manx Grand prix section where these ramblings belongs . I will not bring everything across just things that are relevant to this new post. Coime along and enjoy the journey with me . Icon_biggrin
This all started with the following request on the 24/11/2014.

This August I hope to be competing in the Manx Newcomers and I have been doing as much as I can to learn the course before I get there. I do not think I can afford to visit before August so I have been relying on onboard footage and then watching footage where Milky Quayle explains the nitty gritty bits which I find helps.
In my mind I have broken the course down into different sections so I am learning each section bit by bit.
I was wondering what other methods competitors use to gain race pace course knowledge .


RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Splashdown - 16-09-2015

To any Newcomer thinking about next year's races, they should seriously consider adopting Kursaal Flyer's approach to his first visit. He clearly put some serious work into his preparation, and his excellent results reflect that hard work. Well done.
Newcomers, pay attention!

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

These are a couple of the early replies.

Allfie Noakes  :
 Do your own thing and very importantly do not pressurise yourself, you're there to enjoy it and you want to be coming back the year after for more, The first laps are not so much about pace but getting you and your machine comfortable with the task, don't be getting into corners too early and then come out off throttle(all arms and legs as I got told hahaha), don't follow quicker people as distance travelled versus your reaction time will get you into a lot of trouble, note any places you're struggling with and if possible go and sit in the hedge and watch where on the track the quicker people are putting their bikes before, mid and on the exit. Maybe have a look at Brian Reid's TZ250 lap on youtube - the Duke video is the best, easy to watch as it's not a 1000cc missile but tells a lot about corner speed, smoothness and bike placement.

Canamant :
Although I'd been to the IOM for may years on holiday I never learned my way around the course as a course, just roads between places I wanted to be. Over 22 years I had done precisely 3 laps on a motorbike (one of which was a GN125) before I took off down Bray Hill in 2012. My way of learning the Course was to have a day with an experienced competitor in the van where we broke the course down into chunks where you could ride it as you saw it and then bits where you really had to slow down, and bits where you could ride through flat out even though you couldn't see through it.  I never watched on board laps as it all looks flat and featureless to me.  Joey Dunlop once said the went from places he liked to places he liked.  That is probably as good advice as you'll ever get.  Be assured though that it does all come together once you start putting in the laps.  It also gets addictive.  I was on a real downer in 2014 when I didn't get a ride in the Manx or the Classic Races.  Really depressed.

SPL001 :
As a 2014 newcomer I spent a lot of time watching the Milky Quayle/ John Barton lap (I could almost recite the whole thing by the middle of August) along with a few other on boards like the vendetta racing stuff, and kamil Nolan's laps.......all on YouTube.

I would strongly recommend you get in touch with the Mike Hailwood Foundation (Jim Hunter) as they run really well organised newcomers weekends. You get lots of laps in cars with people who know what they are doing round the mountain course, some very useful information, Scroot tips, etc and get a few beers with people in the same position as you. The weekend probably cost me £200 including flights and we were lucky enough to get some money back from them when we entered and started (almost covered the weekend costs).

Best of luck.

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

My Replies 26/11/2014
Thankyou for the responses , every little bit of information and input helps, I like the Mike Hailwood Foundation training days sounds like a really good idea and some extra extra hours overtime could be well invested there. Its a few years since I have been over to even ride around the course so a refresher/learning weekend would be a great idea.[Image: icon_cool.gif]

Carole wrote : 
There probably is no substitution for laps, preferably with the help of a seasoned racer, but Olie found it helpful to "play" the old play station games-the course is fairly accurate with landmarks clearly showing.
 I have no idea if they are still available, but they do give you an idea- just don't rely on the speeds you think you can reach! 
The advise you've been given is sound, it takes time for most to learn the course (and apparently you never stop learning- don't put yourself under pressure and just enjoy it.
plus :
Olie used the TT Superbike game, and also TT Legends.

My Response :
I have searched the internet and from what I recieved is the Mike Hailwood Foundation organised via the ACU as that is were my web searches have led me ?

I agree about the Milky Quayle / John Barton lap , I have been watching this and a nice smooth 600 on board lap then working the lines and information together in my head. This all points towards making the Foundation weekend a good idea for endorsing this information , there is no substitute for actually going round the course.

Only nine months to go and i'm buzzing already the thought of sorting everything out and then just getting there and giving it a go.[Image: icon_biggrin.gif]

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

Kursaal Flyer, you sound just like me 40 years ago. Getting ready to ride the TT course is really exciting isn't it?
My first race there was the 1975 Production TT, though actually, what I was really doing, was getting ready to ride in the Manx that year.
The thought of blasting off down Bray Hill, and the realisation of years of dreaming of doing just that, is incredible. When the time came, it was as though I was locked into a little time capsule, with a "I am not really doing this" feeling about it.
I am sure you will love your involvement, you sound really passionate about it.
I have said to many folk over the years, "you've got to want it so much it almost hurts". I'm afraid that it has hurt me just a few many times!
However, I have raced in 87 races round the TT course, not a record, but it's still plenty. The point is that I am STILL looking forward to riding next year, yes 40 years after my first attempt.
So, I wish you good fortune, I will follow your progress with interest.
If I can be of any help, just ask.
Oh, and by the way, the videos are excellent, we didn't have those in my day. However, nowt beats riding t'course

SPL001 :
Don't think the Mike Hailwood foundation is anything to do with ACU. Try or ring the manx motorcycle club office (refer to their website). I understand they have 50+ interested in the newcomers weekends for next year already!!

I am only 85 races behind splashdown but what he said is spot on. The build up is part of what makes it special.


RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

Superbike: responded to splashdown:
Hey splashdown it's no probs I'm just saying what many are thinking. I'd love to race the Isle of Man funding is my weakness, I race in the pre injection/modern classic, The closest thing to a real road I've raced on is Aberdare park some time back and that was a rush let alone racing the mountain course and for the length of time you have been doing it puts you up there in the legendary status.

I respond to his post.
I agree costs can put you off , but then if the desire is strong enough there is a way . A few years ago when this desire got the better of me again, I set up a web page with the intention of finding lots of small sponsors to help me pay for getting to the island, at the end of it as a carrot to entice them in I would raffle my bike and give it to one of them . I actually had a good few sponsors on board and put this idea up on the other site but as well as good I got bad reaction to the idea. The main sort of theme I got back is that there is more satisfaction in getting there by paying for yourself than letting others pay for you. I took this on board and have spent my own hard earned and two years getting everything in place to enter this years Manx Newcomers . Next year is going to cost but I am hoping lots of overtime and a bit of wheeling and dealing I will have it covered.
All this to put a big grin on my face [Image: icon_biggrin.gif]   

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

My Post  28/12/2014 :
Things are moving forward , I booked my ticket to get to the Island for the course learning weekend sponsored by the Mike Hailwood foundation , thats got to be a good thing and money well spent and it will give me a chance to meet other riders heading for the Island. ( boy are some of them in for a suprise !)
Got my Christmas DVD , the one recomended from 1993 with the on board footage, I like this there are some very good laps one particular one I do like is the 400 one as this is the same cc machine i will be coming to the Island with myself.
I have also noticed that quite a few road markings are different from the modern on board footage I have been watching . ( the modern markings make it easier to pick up certain points on the circuit )
Also picked up a PS2 and a game but need a memory chip to make it work which is on the way . [Image: icon_cool.gif]

Alfie Noakes responds :
Good man, the reward and return on your commitment and courage is waiting for you, there's more reward and fun to be had the year after too ... relax, take it all in, start putting it together and most importantly enjoy it.
Best rgds.

My  Post 1/1/2015 :

Strange feeling this morning , it might only be another day closer to getting there but it sounds closer !

Now its this year [Image: icon_exclaim.gif]

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

6/01/2015 :
With the assistance of the different DVD's I have been watching I am now putting names to some of the corners . I did not think this was relevant to me as a rider as I was more interested in shapes than names , but since I have started to learn some names its helping me think about what is coming next so maybe there is something to be gained from this extra knowledge.

Splashdown replied :
KF, it will all make sense when you arrive on the Island. I bet you'll know the corners by their names once you start riding round. You can't have enough knowledge about the TT course, it's always being updated as the course changes.......and as you get faster!

BenjiesDad replied :
Well done on making the big step towards achieving your dream,
Have been following your postings over the last few weeks or so,
The only thing i will say about the PlayStation game, there are 2 lamp posts where they shouldnt be ! lol Did catch me out,, In the game,
As for the names of the corners,
I lived there for 40 years, and could never remember them, But always knew which bump was where, what lines the HGV,s took on
Having the pleasure, of having a Master Class lesson from Ginger Hall to Ramsey,
the roads, as this could ripple the surface a bit over time,
So you knew what to expect,

And last but not least,350 up against a 125 in practise,
125 won by a mile,,
Thank you Joey !
But i learnt some very new lines through there !

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

15/01/2015 :
The playstation game is good fun but very frustrating ,I have never ridden a bike that responds like that, we thats the non gamer me and another who is better at such things are struggling with one section in the challenge the head to head race , hes a bully [Image: icon_mad.gif]  But thats is just a bit of fun .

My main watching is going well and my main swatting section at this time is Ballercraine to Ramsey , this for me is the longest and most complicated part of the course and have found the naming of corners and points from some of the onboard is really helping to memorise the flow.

All booked for my training weekend .

In the mean time I was given the codes to unlock the entire PS2 game .

5/02/2105 :
Just a little update on my course learning curve, personally I have found the PS2 game no real help to learning the course more a bit of fun, but then I have never ridden a bike that handles anything like a PS2 controller its just not subtle enough.
I have watched a good few on board laps now and have found the fast no commentry ones are better for learning the pricise lines that these riders have to use to do what they do so quickly, this accuracy in the way I see it still translates down to the speed I will ride the course at. 
The older slower laps like those of Alan Warners first ever race recorded lap are giving me a much better idea of what I can expect when I have a go myself. Plus as I mentioned before the commentry laps with locations are now helping me string the different sections together.
Some of my work mates now think i have lost the plot , I am one of the crane drivers at work and while I was waiting for further crane movement instuctions , I was sitting in the cab running the course through in my mind with my eyes shut, I had just got to the end of Cronk Y Voddy straight and changed down for the last right ready for the left when they bought me back to the real world . Much to thier amusement  .

Hammerhead responded :
 I can't imagine that I will ever do a real life closed roads lap, but I have done (obviously fairly sedate) open roads laps as well as watching many onboards. I finally managed to get myself a copy of the TT Superbikes game over the weekend, and although it has a dated look it is a joy to behold.

I have learned parts of the circuit this weekend that I'd never managed to memorise properly before. OK, so it isn't like actually riding a bike around, but it does help a lot in stringing sections together at speed and in particular the corner exits. I've found with onboards my mind takes in the entry and then starts thinking ahead to the next part without really considering the exit. The interactive nature of the game I've found really helps in learning, but learning is different for each of us.

All that said, after only about half a dozen virtual laps my 19 year old gamer son with no interest in motorsports has a faster lap time than both me and my 13 year old son who have both been around the actual circuit!

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

24/03/2015 : Time for a bit more input really on how everything is progressing .
Firstly the newcomers introduction weekend the point of this weekend is to give newcomers circuit knowledge by going round with as many different riders in the vans and cars as you can cram in. This was excellent and gave me the chance to do just that learning from expeirenced and some of last years newcomers all giving valuable input. I found doing this particulary helped me pick up important posistional point info that you just cannot see from on board videos or play stations , this alone made the weekend worth while . Plus elevational changes which the game and videos cannot replicate.
Plus then add the bonus of an insight of what happens in the paddock, pit lane and scrutineering should help make the whole experience less daunting when August arrives.
For those of us there on Friday we went to a charity auction in aid of Hogg Rescue a TT and Manx medical support charity. Lots of amazing TT stuff donated for support of this worthwhile charity. I purchased a Connor Cummins original picture which is now hanging on a wall in Douglas, this is because I could not take it home with me on my Easy Jet flight.
It was also good to chat with my fellow newcomers and get to know them, hopefully we will all see each other in August and have a good and safe race.
I have submitted a race entry and made a ferry booking, I will not find out if my entry is accepted till mid May. I have booked a race meeting at Snetterton to full fill my mountain licence qualification requirements mainly to get this out of the way so there something less to think about. I will do others just to keep me up to speed depending on finances.
I want to get back to the Island between the TT and the Manx for a weekend mainly because the course will be different with foilage everywhere and it will have all the course furniture in place which hids some of the points of view in my last visit. 
Still watching plenty of onboards can I count these towards my race qualification laps say a ratio of 10 video laps = 1 qualification lap .
Medical Friday another cost .Icon_cry

27/04/2015 :Strange how things unravel on this journey to get to the start line of the Manx Newcomers. For anybody that has done this in recent years will know that one of the requirements for the mountain course licence is that you must have competed in 6 races on different days in the year prior the meeting , two of these races must actually be in the Manx entry year.
I love my racing and everything that comes with it but because of the finicial comitment of the Manx my other racing this year will be at a minimum to save the pennies. Some of this money saving will be spent on a return to the island between the TT and the Manx for more course familerisation , this is going to be much more use to me than charging round some of our races tracks that I already know like a headless chicken !
This weekend I decided would be the meeting to do to get those races, leaving me some time left before the cut of date if I get it wrong. The requirement for the mountain course licence is to get a finish so with this in mind this is how I went racing.
Instead of the usual I having some of that when there was near a group of riders, my must finish the race mind set is thinking be careful let them sort themselves out and pick of the weak later, definatelly more jackel than tiger this weekend. I got the finishes required and was able to have a bit of a blast during the last race but still mindful that a trashed bike was not part of the requirements but new leathers are. 
Even though not my first ride on the bike this was my first competitive ride of my Manx steed. Wow the NC30 is one hell of a bike and sounds like the dogs gonads and is perfect for the task we have together. The suspension will need to be set up and adjusted for the bumpier roads I will encounter on the island but I think we are pretty much there with other bits.
That is apart from all the extra lock wire hole drilling and other little mods required to get the bike past scrutineering and on that start line. [Image: icon_lol.gif]
The entrys close on the 8th May so some sometime after that I will found out if i am in [Image: crossfingers.gif]

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

8/05/2015 :
Its the 8th of May ! Theres been a general election but much more important in my world its the closing date for entrys for the Manx Grand Prix.
How do I feel ? Well I am going to try to discribe my feelings . I feel like a gladiator in the middle of the arena in the Coluseium in Rome waiting for Ceaser to decide my fate , will he move his thumb from the horizontal up for yes or down for no the wait goes on .

MDVINENG responded :
wait for the tap on the shoulder at the first practice session, then grin like the cheshire cat before you see Bray hill .Icon_biggrin

Trident responded :
Good luck with your entry! I was a newcomer last year so know exactly what you're going through.

There are some great milestones along the way and getting an entry is the first one. Every next step is an achievement in itself. Be prepared for an awful lot of stress, riding the bike is the easy bit! Icon_cool

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

Checking the E mails is the first thing I do each evening when I get in from work. Then there it is the E mail that going to say if the effort over the last few years has been given the thumbs up.
Well I opened it up and I am really pleased to say thet my entry for newcomers C has been accepted . After reading this I reacted in a rather loud way much to my wifes suprise and anybody else within about a mile radius of my house. My wife is supportive and puts up with my racing but has no real idea of the passion and effort and everything else that has been involved with getting to the point of opening up this acceptance E mail.  
I know from the Manx facebook page that not everybody had recieved an E mail at this time and the waiting for it is the same for many, tense times ! I felt it wrong to go on there at that stage and tell them I was in as this would only make the unknowing feel worse. We all know that with the upsurge in interest in riding the Manx and TT that some riders are not going to get what they want.
At this stage I just need to sit down chill out to consider everything thats ahead and get planning, first one pay the entry fee.

Full Chat responded : Well done KF most spectators at the MGP /TT dont realize the amount of commitment and cost to get to race on the island ,my lad was a newcomer last year so we know all about it,he managed to win 2 replicas so we were all chuffed and he will be racing again this learning the course take it easy for first laps and gradually build up your speed ,the island course can catch out even experienced racers so ride within your limits,but most of all enjoy it and be safe.

20/05/2015 :
Thanks full-chat. I am still learning the course doing my homework most evenings, its flowing much easier in side this old brain than it was a few months ago. I am looking forward to the challenge and will treat the the whole track with the respect it deserves and ride within those limits . I have personal goals in this challenge but in reality qualification 1st a finishers medal 2nd . Then going home with this stupid grin stuck on my face then boring all those around me with the tale of how I rode the world famous TT course !

splashdown responded :
Getting closer KF!
Don't work too hard on your course knowledge, as a lot of it will come with the laps you ride. Hopefully lots. It IS different now, as usually you can expect to get a bike round the course, whereas there used to be loads of breakdowns.
However, I will be testing you on your course knowledge............!
I think a pretty good way to ride your first lap on your own, (as your very first lap will be Travelling Marshal controlled), is to imagine you are out on an open road on a fast road bike.

Anyway, re boring your friends with tales of how you rode the TT course, I used to do it's tales of rounds of golf!
How sad is that?
Looking forward to meeting you over there.

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

17/06/2015 : Just time in a busy preperation period for another update . I have carried out some bike mods from information that I picked up during the Mike Hailwood foundation TT course training weekend, this course is so worth the effort for all newcomers you learn you meet you make friends and a visit to the Isle of Man thrown in as well ! Great stuff.
I have now got my notes for getting round the course in rally co driver note style. Most notes trigger more information but that part is hopefully tucked away in my memory banks , all I need is the memorise these notes as the co driver is not actually coming with me [Image: exclamation.gif] 

I have booked a two day recce for mid July so I can come back and check my pace notes in the real world. I would like to have come over on a bike but cost and time wise it is not pratical so I am going to fly and use a small cheap car.
After watching the Grand Prix Racer documentry the other weekend I went to Croft to support a friend and I meet steely frame Honda Adam from the documentry and had a quick chat . I am not racing myself at the moment, after getting this far along the journey to the mountain I cannot take the risk of injury putting me out or damage to the bike which I can not really afford.

Watching the TT coverage with my wife was interesting to say the least , though stunning to watch I am not sure it was what my wife need to see to put her at ease. I have explained that what she was watching on the box was the pinicle of TT motorcycle sport and I would be approaching the Manx from a totally different speed level, base camp !  

As far as I can make out everything is heading in the right direction , I am looking forward to meeting new friends particulary those who have been giving me advice and help and support via social media like this web site and facebook  . 

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

Around this timing the adminstrator of the forum was considering pulling the plug on the whole thing because some members would not tow the line and play fair.
From Alfie Noakes :
Hey KF looks like we won't be able to post soon on here sooooo - you jammy git getting to go out there with all that lovely road to yourself, don't close the visor coz it'll steam up hahahaha first mile or so first lap, most importantly enjoy it mate really enjoy the return on your commitmant, don't go putting yourself under pressure - there's a load more fun to be had next time and after that.

I responded on 18/06/2105 :
I have had some communication with regards to my updates which I will no longer be able to do on here . But what I will do is see if I can copy the information from here to a diary section on my little web page I will add updates there. ( the diary section is not on the page yet please give me a couple of days to try to sort this out) my web site is .
Best regards to all this is a shame it has come to this

Keith Terry Newcomer 74 proud as punch to be getting there.

Alfie Noakes responded :
Good man, queuing up and taking my bike first time through scrutineering was a proud thing for me, all part of the buzz, friendships and get together for everybody involved at the event.

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

14/07/2015 :Well . Thanks to Malcolms change of heart I am still able to bring you my Manx ramblings on here. Thanks again Malcolm [Image: icon_biggrin.gif]  Well its about a month since my last update so whats been going on. No racing just preperation at this stage. The bikes almost ready its been away to have the suspension sorted. It feels as soft as a babies bottom now so much softer than the race track set up I am used too. My home made radiator grills are fitted, a steering damper is on the way. Lots of torqued bolts with tell tail paint lines so making checking the bike easier between practices.
The body work is having a new coat of paint I want it to look its best as it flashes past !
I going to take it out at Lydden in a couple of weeks the reason I have chosen there is because its the roughest track I know, and this will help me in giving the suspension a good work out and see what it feels like.
I have a nice long check list of things to get and do and wish I could actually cross some of the items off ,I have applied for but I am still waiting for things like my mountain course licence and caravan permit small things but life is easier once they are here and crossed of the list, another thing less to worry about !
Thursday I am flying to the Island to spend two days checking the course out again. Nicest thing is I will be able to concerntrate on any areas around the course where I feel my knowledge is weak. It will be good to see the course and how it will be when I return in just over 5 weeks time to ride it for real !!
The moment when I sit on my bike waiting to go of down Bray Hill has been a long time coming but now as we get closer to the time it seems to be approaching like a stampede.   

Splashdown Responded : 
Good work KF. Nobody could fault your preparation.
Just remembered one thing that the MGP scrutineers insist on. You must have the pinch bolts on the front wheel spindle lock wired. Pain in the **** on a ER6, but that may be something you're not aware of.
If there's anything else, I'll let you know.
When you get there, I may let you know the "eight apexes of the mountain", which will also help you.

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

18/07/2015 :
I know its not long since my last update but I have just returned from my last visit to the island before the big one [Image: icon_exclaim.gif] I feel I should at this stage try to express my feelings and emotions . I flew over Thursday hired a little car and drove around the circuit checking the course against my pace notes as I call them, against the reality of which is the TT mountain circuit. A few tweaks and adjustments and they are pretty much there . My first thoughts as I am driving round is I cannot describe it any other way as I am going to be involved in probably one of the most bonkers things on earth and its legal ! This thought kept me smiling as I was driving round anyway.
If you have never been to the Manx or the TT one thing you will not  be able to see from any on board footage is the massive amount of elevation changes there are as you go round , everybody talks about Bray Hill and the mountain but there are hills both up and down everywhere . 
The two days passed quickly but by the time I left I felt the next step in my learning curve will be my first speed control lap under closed road conditions. This lap is compulsory to all newcomers to the Manx and the TT and is completed behind an experienced course rider going at a steady pace. ( Steady pace is my description not the organisers )  During my few days on the island I have been using as much of the road as I could safely so the only way to use the rest will be under the closed road conditions.
I flew back last night and I will try to describe the way I feel since giving the car back at the airport I have this sort of internal buzz and smug grin and my blood is flowing with more life than it has for a ages, is it nervous energy, anticipation, fright .I do not know but I am loving it every inch of the way [Image: exclamation.gif]
I woke early than I expected and my brain has switched straight on and has gone straight into race mode thinking about have I done this and I need to get that but racing is like that , Living life for real.

As a foot note the small car I hired went well but handled like rubbish braking from high speed it wallowed like a balloon filled with water rolling down a hill , and did not like any steering input adjustment once it was set up in a corner. Give me a bike any day [Image: icon_cool.gif] 
While I was there I popped into the MMCC office to say hello and found out I am last away in my race which is a shame I would have preferred someone behind me as well as in front, but subject to achieving the qualification time the main thing is I am on the grid !

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

3/08/2015 :
Well the days are counting down , the whole thing is shall I say becoming a little bit more real . I am more concerned by the last few things slotting into place rather than the actual thought of riding the Manx course itself which I am now itching to get on with and do.
Waiting for the fire proof suits to arrive , my caravan permit, and a few bits and bobs for the bike are my real concerns , I just want this all here and in place so I can relax and chill before the big off with the drive up to Heysham for the ferry . 
I am looking forward to challenge of the mountain course and hope that the effort put in watching on boards and plotting and checking my course notes will pay dividends once I get there. Refering to one of my early posts in this section I mentioned about not needing to know corner names but as a racer the shapes and curves were more important , I will admit that on a course as large at the TT knowing reference points by name as well as where it goes has helped so much, it gives me as a rider more information to prepare for whats next than you need doing short tracks. This point, plus what I have learned with two pre race visits would be the must do things I would recommend to any budding newcomer.
The local paper are coming round for an interview and take some photographs with me all geared up and no where to ride ! This gives me opportunity to thank the locals that have given me something towards getting there.

bsa499 responded :
Evening Kursaal Flyer, I really wish you well for your début and having read your posts I can see you've prepared extremely well. My practice strategy which was generally successful over the years comprised concentrating on getting the laps in, I never bothered about the speed. The qualifying speeds aren't too challenging and the speed comes as the week goes on. I vividly remember my first closed roads lap as the B50's steering head came loose up on the mountain (everything will come loose on the mountain course if it isn't tightened and wire locked or 'Loctite'd' correctly) and I should have pulled in, but didn't I was so desperate to get the lap in. That first lap and the 1993 event as a whole was an experience I'll never forget and I hope you experience the same surreal buzz I did. If you let me know your number I'll keep an eye out for you and maybe pop round for a brew. Very best wishes Andrew.

Alfie Noakes added : 
Second that BSA, don't pressurise yourself KF with speeds/times etc, enjoying it all in the first couple of years is the most important thing and you defo want to be back for more if you get on with the course, with a smaller cc bike once you're feeling more at home see if you can pay a little more attention to corners/sections with long full throttle runs afterwards, don't be afraid to ask anybody for help, there's a tremendous atmosphere at (I still call it) The Manx which just adds to the whole scenario. best rgds jealous Alfie. 

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

16/08/2015 :
Well , the moment of truth approaches . This time next week subject to enough marshals signing on and turning up I will of had one speed control lap and a free practice lap of the famous Isle of Man mountain course. If any of you have been on my web page at and you have read my history you will know that my path to get to this point has been a long one and I am only here today because as far as I know somebody ( my new best mate who ever you are ) challenged the entry criteria on its ageist based policy and I am very pleased to say the rules were altered so that as long as you are fit enough and can pass a medical you can race.
The bikes ready and hopefully everything has been done to ensure a trouble free Manx. The spares are ready and sorted the caravan is just itching to get on the back of the van and hit the road for our ferry on Thursday.
The to do list is now a lot shorter and most are just niff naff and trivia,still waiting for for a pit crew suit one came through and was far to large so it went back to be replaced , I hope it comes soon as they are all kitted out in the same colour and they almost look professional !
I have my caravan permit something everybody must have to take one to the island very easy to get.
I have built my timetable of things I must do once I get there which is important as failure to complete something or attend some meetings could result in not riding , I have not come this far on this journey to falter at the last hurdle.
I cannot really think of much more to write at the moment , me myself I am anxious about everything, getting there, forgetting something , all the usual pre race stuff most racers have to go through . The nerves will come I am sure about that but i can handle those.
Once there if you want to say hello feel free pop in white van and Gazebo  IOM flag with the number 74 attached.

All the best to my fellow riders have a good ride and stay safe.

5/09/2105 : Hi .just to let you know I am back in the UK safe and sound. I had trouble signing on with the site and with WiFi connection in my part of the paddock so I put no updates on during my visit. But then I do not know if I would have had the time or concentration to make them. I have kept notes and will attempt to put some of my Manx experiences into words once I return to normality soon.  [Image: icon_cool.gif] [Image: icon_lol.gif] [Image: icon_cool.gif] [Image: icon_lol.gif]

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 16-09-2015

By Tuesday evening 18th August everything on the list is in the van with the bike, plus anything I can think of that might be useful whilst there is bunged in as well. My pit crews camping equipment plus my other daughters family camping equipment is also in the van. The caravan is sorted so we are just about ready to set of on the adventure which is the Manx Grand Prix. My daughters and other family members are flying in later hence we are taking everything in the van. Even though our ferry is not till 2.00pm Thursday we decide if we are ready to get on the road Wednesday and stop overnight closer to Heysham our sailing port.
This on reflection was a good decision as it took any pressure of getting to Heysham from Essex on Thursday morning, we found somewhere only about forty miles from the port that was perfect for the stop over , did not even unhitch the caravan just wound the feet down for stability, job done !
Next morning was a nice easy drive to the port to join my fellow racers and spectators on the sailing across to the island. Already you can feel that buzz in the air that goes with any visit to a special occasion like this. We had a good crossing and landed after 6.00 pm in the evening. Now comes a bit of a test can the van pull all that weight up those hills to Nobles Park the paddock which would be our home for the next two weeks. Well it got up there just, the traffic light hill starts were pushing my old van to the limit ! Once up at the paddock we joined a very long queue to get into the paddock while our paddock space was allocated.We ended up in the lower part of paddock C on what I assume is a gravel car park work area. A bit of mucking about and we set our camp up. The weather was closing in and it was getting dark so the nitty gritty part of camp would be left till the morning. More by chance we got the caravan positioned along the fence which gave us an unobstructed view across the harbour and sea which was nice.
Friday morning the weather was not great and discover the water table rises around our area even if under cover , we managed to get an extra piece of wood to use as flooring so we could get in and out of the caravan without dragging lots of muck in. Along with an extra door mat this seems to work. but this area seems better that some of the wet grass areas further up the paddock. You can tell those teams that have been before they bring various forms of flooring to keep the weather conditions out !
Friday is the first time we can actually sign on and get our race clobber and out pit suits checked over. This all goes very well it just involved a lot of queuing which was something I would do quite a lot of while here. No dramas with anything and everything was approved to use and I got signed on and received my race folder. I missed the first newcomers briefing while queuing to sign on but this was not an issue as there was another tomorrow.
During the day I had a chance to catch up with friends old and new and check in with a lot of the other riders I had meet on the Newcomers introductory weekend in February . The tension builds we that's all the newcomers are only 24 hours away from out first ride down Bray Hill .  [Image: icon_cool.gif]

RE: A Newcomers Diary . - Kursaal Flyer - 17-09-2015

Saturday 22nd August . Friends are over from the mainland hoping to see me go off on my first lap but before we can chat I must first attend a newcomers rider briefing . This is done using a slide show and chat , this covers things like the flag signals and how we are expected to react to the ones we are shown. Information on how our race will be run, what we are expected to do and were we should be at different times leading up to practices and races. The zero tolerance of alcohol and the random breathalyser test that is conducted.Lots of important information to take on board.After the meeting our mountain licences were scanned so the officials know who has attend the meetings. We sat and chatted with our friends and they took the wind out of my sails when they presented me with a Minion money box with cash in that had been given by friends in the BSSO and BHR clubs that I race with. The weather forecast for the evening is not good with lots of rain coming our way. It was not to late in the afternoon when it is announced that the evening practice has been cancelled this included the newcomers speed control lap, from what we heard via the jungle drums this is caused by the helicopter which must be on the island with conditions to be able to fly and help riders if required but was stuck on the mainland in even worse weather conditions.
This is a shame as unlike the last few years they organisers had all the marshals for a full practice to go ahead. This is frustrating and even more so when it dawned on me that there was going to be no practice till Monday evening two days away. Icon_cry .
Our friends are only over for the weekend and fly back Sunday afternoon and unfortunately this means they will not see a wheel turn down Bray Hill.
At base camp things have settled down and apart from the caravan water pump packing up everything is fine. A nice little extra all the entrants get with their entry pack is a 10% discount card for Shoprite the local supermarket. Thank you Shoprite . Icon_biggrin Funny thing while wandering round in Shoprite you encounter a few famous riders picking up there grocery's as well ! This is only ever going to happen in the Isle of Man !
Made good friends with our neighbours as we have plenty of time to chat as there is little else to do . Tried to get some laps in on the paddock bus but we were told it had broken down and we were unable to get information about what was going on as the race office was closed till Monday.