A Newcomers Diary .
Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#21
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Monday 24th . The day dawns with sunshine the weather forecast is good so if all goes well us newcomers should get the control lap and maybe some more if everything happens as it should. So we can get about for fuel and a bit of sight seeing during our days off we have hired a little car which we have to pick up from the airport . A pleasant good value for money bus ride gets to the terminal to pick it up the car ,we are given a Citroen metal box, a gutless object designed by a plastic trim salesman !
Then its back to the pits to get ready for the technical inspection this afternoon this in time for us to be ready to get out on track at about 18.20 pm.
To help you understand my emotions in this next bit I want you to imagine something that you really want and this has been the driving force for many things for you over the last few years and you have now got to the point where you can almost taste and feel what you want but you just have to do a couple what you think are easy things and you are there !
OK then the scene is set . Since I have arrived in the Island I have not run the bike, there really has been no point it was fine at home so I assumed it would be fine now , from my base in the paddock its a long way up the hill to the technical inspection bay so I will start my NC30 up and ride it up there. So some time before the inspection is due I thought I would start it up. I turned it on and pushed the start button and this was followed by what I would describe as three or four metal on metal clatters then nothing it would not even turn over. I cannot put the feeling of what those clatters did to me into words but I was distraught and actually felt like I wanted to cry . My brain immediately went into unable to think in a clear rational  mode to work out what had happened . Here I am about an hour and a half before I am due to go to technical inspection with a what sounds to me be a very broken bike. I am thinking I am going to have to change the engine I have a spare that I no nothing about and I do not have enough time to do it. Icon_frown  My wife goes up the paddock to find a friend with a level thinking head as I begin removing the fairings to investigate whats going on !
At this moment in time the bottom has fallen out of my world. But to find out what was going on and did I actually make it out to technical inspection in time you are going to have to wait till my next write up . Icon_exclaim
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
(This post was last modified: 20-09-2015, 06:28 PM by Kursaal Flyer.)
20-09-2015, 06:24 PM
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Smidsy Offline
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#22
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Kursaal,

Ive really enjoyed this so far, as well as the course info thread, its been really interesting and shows the time, effort and downright dogged determination needed.

(ps are you the KT who worked for a large telecommunications company?)
"I stole these views from the cools kids, so I could fit in."
You don’t stop riding because you’re getting old, you get old because you stop riding
21-09-2015, 02:26 PM
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#23
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Monday 24th part two. I get the fairings tank and seat unit out of the way and my wife returns with the calvary in the form of Marek and Tim. I explained what has occured and demonstrate the lack of engine turn over with the starter button. I am thinking engine swap but Tim reasons that we should discover what the problem with the engine is first . After draining the oil the clutch side cover is removed first so it can be determined which section of the engine the problem is in. after some more mucking about the motor now moves but there appears to be a clicking noise, the rocker covers are removed to try to locate this , at this stage the plugs are removed and one of them is very wet and this is when the penny drops to what hopefully has caused the problem as the engine is now turning over. We put the clutch cover back on and spin the engine over, then working in reverse the engine is put back together and we check it still turning over after each bit is refitted. After the plugs are fitted and new oil in the sump its time to find out if it will start. Fingers crossed and yes I am back in bussiness she runs . The rest of the bike is put back together a double check on what has been touched and all seems fine.
The cause of the panic ! During the journey from Essex to the Island fuel had leaked into one of the cylinders and when I attempted to start it up it had hydraulically locked that cylinder , the rattling noise was caused by the quitening gears on my engine which have been removed a common mod on NC30 engines I have been told, which caused the horrible rattle as the starter motor tried to turn the engine against the hydraulic fuel lock.
Thank you again to Marek and Tim for thier help during my crisis ! Icon_cry  
I then have a small amount of time before the the call comes to attend technical inspection with the bike. I go up there and join what is a very long slow moving queue until somebody comes down and tells all us newcomers to move up because we are going to be first out. I eventually get to my turn and the first thing what happens is my transponder is logged into the system , I am then given my technical inspection card which will be the same one I will be given each day during technical inspection. Anything wrong with the machine is recorded on the card , and as far as I am aware different people are supposed to inspect the bike each night to keep continuity of quality inspection. 
The preperation for this inspection is a lot more in depth than the usual short circuit race I attend, it requires a lot more locking wire and safety orientated bits and pieces. Things like metal sealing dustcaps, locked wired exhaust springs so that if they break they stay on the machine.the liberal use of coloured tape over bolt and screw heads to keep them in place if they come loose . Not a technical inspection requirement but once the nuts and bolts around my bike were torqued up I put a tell tale paint mark on each one so during any visual check after a practice I would be able to see anything that had come loose.
I have always felt that any race starts at home, be it in your garage or workshop get the preperation right conform to all the regulations and then presenting a bike in a good clean condition and the inspection should be easy. But its nice to have the bike checked over by an independant set of eyes just in case I have had a senior moment and left something loose , it happens ! If ever in doubt about something you can always ask somebody. I used this forum to ask questions before I got to the island better safe than sorry. 
The inspection went well and the bike passed without any problems much as I expected . After this the bike goes to a holding pen where I am allocated a place the wife brings the rear stand . At this stage if I wanted to work on the bike a technical inspector would have to oversee what is done to ensure it is still up to standard to go on track. There are plenty of power points for those that want to use tyre warmers but I decided not to use them on this first evening.
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
22-09-2015, 11:35 AM
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#24
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Monday 24th part three. With the bike secure in the holding bay I return to base camp to put on my riding gear. The riding gear was inspected Friday and any helmet I wanted to use presented at that time then has a special decal attached. My riding gear is subject to random inspection before going out on track to ensure you are using the approved equipment. Before any of us got to the island we were given nutirtional and fitness advice the beauty of the web, one of the areas explored in this is keeping body fluids topped up to stop dehydration and the use of energy suppliments and drinks to help this. After we had signed on, as a rider we were able to pick up a free powerdered energy drink mix to assist us with this. Most riders prior to going out will often be seen wandering around the paddock drinking energy drink suppliments.
I return to the holding pen and the place is buzzing. The bikes are crammed in there and its now full with riders and support crew just happy to be there I guess, For most this has been some journey. From the Isle of Man or Japan we are gathered from all the corners of the globe, seventy of us all fulfilling the our own dream ! I am sure the stories of how each of us got to this point in time could keep us all entertained over a few beers on some dark winters evening. 
Our speed control lap will be run in numerical order so I will be last away as I am number 74 . Just after six its announced everything around the course is good to go and the first batch should be away at 18.20 pm, first twenty riders are called up to the Glencrutchery Road to get ready, you can almost feel the tension in the air coupled with the chained enthusiasm we are minutes away from a blast down Bray Hill . The first riders are away as I get the call to join the queue I take my time and try to stay calm . As we get up on Glencrutchery Road  Yuris bike stops ( number 73 )  and I hang back to see if it will restart to stay in number order but his machine has seen that hill in front of us and is not having any it so I join the end of the now shorter queue. Ive not met my guide for the evenings tour ! But as I get near the front theres a rider without a newcomers bib four bikes up the line so I decide I going with him. Then in no time we are away of down Bray Hill and beyond , the pace is nice and steady and my guide takes the odd glance back to check he still has five bikes in tow. From my position at the back I can keep an eye on whats going on in front but try to think about my homework, like whats coming next and where I should be in the road . I cannot remember where exactly where but After Cronk-Y-Voddy we caught up with the group in front and this slowed the pace and after that I did not really think I learnt much from the control lap experience. I can racall the buzz I got from actually doing it but what I really wanted to do now was go on my own at my own pace.I topped up with energy drink as we waited in the pit lane to get out again.Unfortunatelly there had been an incident at Ramsey and the session had been stopped while it was cleared up. Originally we were told if we were not away by 8.00pm it would not happen but the powers to be restarted the session at 8.10 pm with a pit lane full of bikes to get away. The newcomers would be the last away in this session but at least we were going to get a free lap. Eventually I was away and I felt a lot more comfortable than on the control lap as I was now in control , this is a truly fantastic experience one I will remember for years to come. At that time of the evening the sun was a major issue with regards to vision in the Grebe castle and Bridge sections very low in the sky and blindingly bright but my homework helps with regards to were I should be going. The lap was soon over which was good as light was fadding fast as we came of the mountain I returned to base camp with a rather silly grin stuck on my face. After first wanting to ride the mountain course in 1993 here I am 22 years later having done just that . Was it worth the wait of course it was Icon_cool   

A foot note: Most performance enhancing drugs are banned in all sports including ours so if you want to take something check its legal first ! 
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
23-09-2015, 01:10 PM
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Splashdown Offline
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#25
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Keith, this should be compulsory reading for all potential Newcomers. You have the ability to share the moment with the reader.
I was interested in your comments on the Newcomers laps, as I was one of the lead riders on the Monday night.
I share your comments that the lap was not of much use to  you. Sadly it will be a requirement of the Insurers for this lap to take place, but I'm bloomin' sure the time could be put to better use.
I will be sending a report to the MMCC shortly, and my idea for an alternative to the controlled lap with be outlined.
In addition there will be many other suggestions as to how the Manx (and Classic TT) could be improved.
Meanwhile, I am enjoying reading your Diary, and even after 91 starts, I am finding your experiences interesting. Keep it up!

Incidentally, the energy drinks that all riders received were supplied free by the TT Riders Association. That's my small plug for a very worthwhile cause. The "38th Milestone" Hut stands behind the Grandstand, not far from the race office, and the Marquis bar.
23-09-2015, 05:11 PM
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Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#26
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Nick . Thanks for reminding me that it was the TT Riders Association that supplied the energy drinks, credit where credits due .Thank you  to them ! When I collected mine I can remember the conversation I had that they had to pay for everything they were giving away even the bags it was in that was advertising the company that supplied the product.
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
23-09-2015, 05:44 PM
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#27
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
The speed controlled lap should be entirely separate from a practice session if the insurers are so fussy about it, I can't for the life of me think what it could ever teach you for the future and it's a waste of a perfectly good practice lap or more, confirmed by the comments above.
23-09-2015, 06:53 PM
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#28
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Tuesday 25th . It was quite a late finish Monday so this was the first time I had a chance to really consider how the practice laps had gone . As I mentioned earlier I did not really learn anything about the bike or myself while doing my control lap, but the second lap left me with things to consider to work on and adjust . Firstly the most time I have ever been tucked right down behind any screen on any of the UK's short tracks has got to be the back straight at Snetterton , well the TT course has taken getting tucked in to a whole new level there is loads of it and goes on for miles . The problem this kicked up was my neck cannot bend that far for that long so I had to find a solution. I think the solution comes in the form of the TT bubble screen which can attach to the top of the existing screen then this coupled with me adsjusting my tucked in stance and not getting down quite so low should make it more comfortable for those long tucked in periods. The other two things , I increased the rear rebound three clicks as it was wallowing on some corners . I then down geared a little as I felt pulling my lardy bottom up to speed was more important than my actual top speed which was about ten miles an hour down on the front runners in my class. The speed of the bikes are recorded at two points of the course so the results of these adjustments can be judged in real time.Each rider can also print out lap times which is broken down into four sectors with times for each ,but I do not use these for reference at this time, the reason I am still in the early stages of learning the course and naturally would expect my times to improve with each lap completed.
The neck issue had affected the second half of my free lap and was suprised to find out that I had already completed a lap quick enough to qualify me for the race, this was the first hurdle completed as far as I was concerned I just needed to smooth the whole thing out with more laps. I measured the fuel left in the tank and it was using between 6 to 7 litres a lap .I checked the rest of the bike over and all was OK gave it a clean and we are ready to go again.Unfortunatelly the weather is not good and by mid afternoon we are informed that the practice is cancelled again, this is becoming frustrating but what can one do but just accept it. As we were not going out on track we went down the south of the Island to do some sight seeing and by the time we returned the weather had really closed in and it was not nice at all , lets hope for better tomorrow Icon_biggrin  
  
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
24-09-2015, 02:42 PM
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#29
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Wednesday 26th . During Tuesday night the rain had given us another good battering and apart from rising car park damp all is fine. Taking the short cut across the grass back to base camp from the top of the paddock could see you going ar-se over tit on the wet hilly slippery grass. The weather forecast for today is iffy but it is improving at the moment so my hopes are up that we should get a lap or two in. Mid afternoon the weather seems OK so it will soon be timr to get ready for technical inspection. Further back you might recall I mentioned the very long queues to get the bike inspected on the first day. Well somebody has put a plan together and the bikes will be done in time slots relative to when you are expected to get out on circuit. If you come up with your bike to early before your time slot you will get turned away , this system is spot on and the queues are much shorter so much so that the tech crew actually get ahead of themselves and the later groups are getting called up early. ( Well done on this one more like this next year ) If a full pratice is going ahead in those few hours before the off the technical crew will have to inspect something like 500 bikes , I think this might be why they wear knee pads as they spend a lot of time crawling about on the floor looking upwards and inwards.! I have also now realised that there is more than one vampire in this area but both of them are a bit random . By this I mean the breathalizer crew to check my non alchhol content and the other the fuel vampire she only takes a small bit with her pipette but I know whats going on here and all she wants to get back to Ramsey and needs to fill her car with race legal fuel my fuel must be road legal and is tested to check it conforms. Fuel and breath are both subject to random testing during the Manx Grand Prix and as it is random you could get checked for either on more than one occasion ! Each practice is broken down into two sections and depending on which section you are in this will determine where your bike goes after the technical inspection, The first practice bikes go into the holding /park ferme area and from here will go out on circuit through a gate on to Glencrutchery Road and start from the race start posistion . But the second practice will start from the pit lane , the reason for this unlike a normal track that will be cleared before the next lot go out with a 37 mile course this is not possible with the time allowed so once the first wave have all gone and thier alloted time expired the riders will be slowed down after Governers dip and red flagged of the track at the begining of parc ferme, this allows the second practice to start simultaneously further down the the pits. The first practice gets away and we are waiting for our turn when we are informed that due to an incident at the 13th and visability on the mountain the practice will have to be cancelled. Disapointment and nervous frustration theses a lot of disapointed faces about but there nothing that can be done so it all back to base camp.
Now comes a sobering bit which I am not really sure how to put on here but its in the diary it happened so if has to be here.Getting to the Manx and competing is along with many other things a roller coaster of emotions and I want to try to relate to you as a potential newcomer or just an interested spectator some of this in my diary. The news comes through that the incident at the 13th has involved a fatality . This news alone is chilling and real, my first thoughts are with friends who I know are out in that first session, it is quite a while before some of them get back to the paddock as they had to be escorted back the wrong way round the course from where they have been stopped. You might think this a harsh point of view but thankfully I track them all down and it is not one of them. This is not going to be the same for all, someone will be looking for a friend who is not coming back. This is: The harsh reality of road racing.
I later find out that the rider involved was one who had attended the same newcomers training weekend in February as I, he was someone I might describe as a paddock buddy, this makes this news harder to digest.
It's getting late now so I return to base camp have our evening meal and just relax and try to take in todays events.   
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
28-09-2015, 02:45 PM
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#30
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Thursday 27th . There is a bit of a sombre mood in the paddock this morning  which you would expect after any incident like that at the 13th, there are the usual theories going around the paddock about what happened, this is just paddock gossip so I dismiss this I try to stay in a positive frame of mind. More on my mind is that including the speed control lap I only have two laps under my belt which is long way short of where I expected to be at this stage of the week . The weather has just not been kind to us I just hope it can improve . This morning is the pit lane briefing , this is a guide of what you can and cannot do in the pit lane during your pit stop.The wife is coming on this one as she is the only member of my pit crew on the island at this time. First off the score board and how the clocks the light work . the clock has thre positions and each time a rider passes each point on the track the clock hand is moved , the positions are Glen Helen, Ramsey and the Bungalow. The light go's on when the rider reaches Cronk-ny-Mona and gives the pit crew warning thier rider is approaching. There are two lanes in the pit one to come in to stop and one to go out and it is the responsibility of the incoming rider to mind those coming out as they have to cross his lane.This is follwed by an explanation on the fuel rig and how it works with a mock bike refuel demonstration. Its not rocket science , put fuel in big tank in air turn tap on pull trigger fuel comes out. But the little bits like flushing the system through then bleeding any air out of the pipe plus covering the end of the zozzle with a towel to stop spillage onto the hot bike as you finish are the important bits to remember. Theres a chat about pit lane speed limits and the electrical things you cannot bring into the refuel area. The wife seems a little overwhelmed by this influx of knowledge but I assure her everything will be fine on the day and we will practice what we can first.
After lunch all the newcomers are called to a meeting by the clerk of the course . This was for a general warning to us all to take it easy and learn the course and let it come to us or we could get sent home ! He stated he had recieved quite a few reports from marshals around the course that the standard of riding was not good and we needed to take it easy and learn first and the speed will come on its own.  
The Mike Hailwood Foundation which organised the course learning weekend visit at the begining of the year also run a sponsor a rider scheme , this is where members of the public or companies can sponsor individual riders for £200, a scheme which gave many of the newcomers some extra funds which can really help. Thank you again to the Mike Hailwood Foundation.
If we get out I should be going in the first practice but this is now the second and the news that we will now have extra practice Monday and race Tuesday this is because of the almost total lack of track time we have had so far.
The weather is holding up so practice is good to go , the usual ritual of Technical inspection takes place with no dramas, then its into pit lane again to wait and see if we are going to get away this time.
There is a lot of bikes waiting to go in this second practice and I have already realised that the only way to get the second lap in is to get back to the grandstand before the hour is up , well the theory of this is great but when you have so many bikes going before you this time is very quickly eaten up. well we get the signal all is good to go and after the other two queues in pit lane have gone my line starts to move forward then at last I'm away blasting of across the lights and down Bray Hill. Up on the mountain it was very windy and gave my little 400 a battering it was strong and unnerving particulary near black box . Any way I got round but by the end of my lap of 26.39 minutes the chequered flag was out to end the session. I was a lot more comfortable with the higher screen but feel I need to adjust the gearing and suspension preload to get the best out of the bike.
I was suprised to discover that the lap was within my qualification time, I just need more lap time to smooth it all out.
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
(This post was last modified: 29-09-2015, 04:11 PM by Kursaal Flyer.)
29-09-2015, 04:02 PM
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#31
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
It's still an interesting read KF. I'm reliving the Manx all over again, through the dark trauma and the lighter moments that always seem to encompass any event on the Mountain Course.
I think you mean "Black Hut" when you refer to "Black Box"!!
Keep up the good work.
30-09-2015, 11:44 PM
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#32
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Maybe Keith has been listening to the Ride on Time tune by Black Box ... Sounds like you've experienced much of what the TT Course has to offer KF, they are all undeniable/unforgettable pieces of the package. Good work - keep it up.
01-10-2015, 10:35 AM
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#33
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Friday 28th . With last night practice complete and an improvement in the weather there seems to be a lighter mood about the paddock and weather forecast is looking good to get some more laps in tonight . I have to go to the airport to pick up the rest of my pit crew,well one of my daughters and her boyfriend as they are flying in this morning . As we do not have lots of time today I decide that thier escorted tour of the course will have to wait. Back in the paddock the place is begining to buzz as the main weekend of the Classic TT approaches and more visitors and spectators are arriving. Mikey thats the boyfriend is quite amazed at how many famous faces are wandering about in the paddock and even more suprised that they are all nice blokes and you can talk to them ! My wife is glad they are now here to as she has had the short straw and has been pulling the pit trolley up to the holding bay each day. My pit trolley is one of the metal garden cage type but is perfect for hauling the various stands tyre warmers extension leads adaptors and other bits and peices I might need prior to going out . Its not to long before I get the call to go to Technical inspection . I elude the vampires and the inspection goes well and I get another technical inspection decal on my fairing , these decals are different colours each day and I now have a nice little collection of them. Tonight the newcomers are in the first practice away so there should be every chance I will get my first back to back two lap run in . I have now started using my tyre warmers but knowledge gained through my training process reminds me to be carefull at Quarter Bridge pulling up for the turn at the bottom of the hill with a full tank then more care on coldish tyres on the first left at Brandon Bridge , not a lot to be gained at these points but a lot to loose ! The atmosphere in the holding bay is always good with a lot of nervous tension and with all the energy drinks the two porta loos at the end are quite popular ! Then there's the public address system telling you all is good to go adding to the excitement . It seems like an age but eventually one of the pit marshals calls us up to the Glencrutchery Road , but a bit like cattle herding through a gate  eveybody wants to get through the gate at the same time this all adds to the fun. Once up on the top road we queue up in two lines and will be realeased in pairs once the previous pair are out of the way.
Well its off I go again I soon settle into a rythm and like the other evening the sun flag is out warning me to be careful . Theres still a part of me that cannot really believe this is actually happening but it keeps me smiling as the miles just disappear behind me. Its not long before I face a new challenge Bray Hill flat out at the begining of my second lap, this will be taken as fast as my little bike can get to from the exit of Governers Dip ,as I approach  I relate to my notes in my head for this section bush, lights, tree, tree then third post and in exactly the same as before just a bit quicker Icon_exclaim 
Its seems no time at all and I am puttering back up the return road having completed the two laps , I am having trouble with my jaw and mouth as there appears to be a malfunction in this area I now have this semi permanant cheesy grin stuck on my face ! I wonder where that came from Icon_lol
I am pleasantly suprised the way I feel physically much better tonight after two laps than the one lap the other night , I think some of this is down to the fact that I am relaxing more on the bike as I begin to get into the ebb and flow of the TT course , I even remembered to wiggle my fingers and breath along the long straights .
I think the bike is handling quite well, but as it is the only one I have ever ridden on such a course I have no base line of information to relate to . Main thing is I am not having any big tank slapping moments and I can see most of the time so I am happy to keep plugging away.
Back at base camp there are no major issues everything is settling down nicely.
My lap time is now down to 25.38 minutes at an average speed of 88.266 mph not to shabby for the old boy at the back Exclamation
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2015, 04:59 PM by Kursaal Flyer.)
01-10-2015, 04:58 PM
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#34
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Saturday 29th. The day dawns to what we all want a nice sunny morning and for the 500cc classic TT boys it's race day. The morning passes with the usual wandering around the paddock chatting and making lots of new friends along the way, there is a big increase in the number of people in the paddock which just helps to add to the whole buzz about the place. Household names dotted about all over the place, then there's the food and stage areas which are always busy with something going on and the market stalls full of people looking for those bargains and mementos. My technical inspection time is not after the end of the classic race so I will be able to find a local spot to watch the action. My other daughter and her family fly in today but will not be with us till after the roads have closed so I have given her some directions to help her get to us from the airport via the seafront. During her visit she is going to a camp site over near Ballaugh Bridge and as it will be getting dark before they can get to the camp site tonight so the owners allowed us to go over Friday morning ( forgot that in Fridays report ) and put the tent up before getting my other daughter from the airport , its busy life racing motorcycles !
They get to us before the Classic race starts and we wander up to watch the racing from the park at the lights near the top of Bray Hill . This is a good spot and the kids can still muck about in a safe environment if they want but the two older boys are taking all the racing in. We enjoy the race and I think they are all surprised by the spectacle of real road racing in the flesh, the true sounds smell and feel of it cannot be experienced unless you are actually there Icon_exclaim
We then wander back and its not to long before I get the call to get up to technical inspection, as a rule I try to get up there fairly prompt as getting through earlier should get me a good position further up the holding bay to allow me get away in the practice.the technical inspection goes well and so far it has passed every time with not so much as a negative comment, I feel this because of the effort I put in at home to ensure it was right .
I now have so many helpers they are almost fighting to pull the back up trolley up the hill, once up there the tyre warmers are put on and we hang around to wait for the session to begin. It does not seem to long and we get the call to go. Topped up with energy drink I sit in the queue and wait my turn, its not long before I get to the front and again I am shooting off down Bray Hill. The earlier Classic race has left its mark around the course and there a quite a few yellow flags warning us riders of reduced adhesion from treated oil spills add this to the usual low sun vision problems this is not making for the best of laps. As we came over the mountain the vision  was already reduced so I knew that if we got the second lap in a quick lap with all the yellow flags and the other problems was not on the cards.
I chequered flag was not out so a second lap was on but I knew it was not going to be quick as we would be slow come back over the mountain due to visibility . With this in mind and the low sun in the sky near Grebe Castle while with a group of other riders I was surprised to encounter what I would class as short circuit riding from one of my fellow newcomers, pushing through in an aggressive fashion a style that is dangerous to the rider and to those around him. Leave your short circuit style at home, around the Manx course just have a fast road ride learn the road and build your speed slowly ! 
By the second lap over the mountain the cloud had come down so much we had yellow flags from the Gooseneck till coming down again to Creg . I followed a lightweight rider and let him down the peering into the cloud bit .
When I returned to base camp I mentioned that I thought the laps were poor because of all the different things but Mikey said my time was quicker so I popped up and got the timing sheets and sure enough he was right, it just goes to show the more laps ,you do the more comfortable you can become to get that flow, this place is all about the flow. I am fairly happy with the progress and I have a day off tomorrow so might allow myself a beer to celebrate.  

 
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
07-10-2015, 10:39 PM
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ago/mh1967 Offline
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#35
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
This is brilliant Kursaal Flyer, many thanks. 

Hope you don`t mind me asking, but can you included your `feelings/thoughts` as you ride thru specific corners/sections?

Anyway, keep it coming and thanks again
.
....today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.
08-10-2015, 06:40 PM
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Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#36
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
I will see what I can come up with, written English was not my strong point a school ( that's assuming I actually had any ) and getting some of my feelings into words with my limited vocabulary is hard I have to think my feelings through to find the terminology  that fits the moment.
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
(This post was last modified: 08-10-2015, 08:38 PM by Malcolm.)
08-10-2015, 08:31 PM
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Splashdown Offline
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#37
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
I'm enjoying this KF, even if in a narcissistic way, I thinking, "what was I doing on this particular day etc".
It is an excellent review of one man following his dreams, and achieving what very few racers do, i.e. making a successful debut on the Mountain Circuit....... and at an age when he should have a pipe in his mouth, and slippers on his feet. Keep it coming. The quality of the English prose is pretty good by today's standards, so don't worry about that.
Oh, and I almost forgot, are you going to have another crack next year?
08-10-2015, 11:38 PM
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HammerHead Offline
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#38
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
I too am thoroughly enjoying reading this. I was going to wait until the end before commenting, but decided to leap in with everyone else.

Keep it coming.


"There is nothing so momentary as a sporting achievement, and nothing so lasting as the memory of it."
09-10-2015, 12:53 PM
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Kursaal Flyer Offline
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#39
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Sunday 30th . Checked the bike over from last nights practice all looks fine apart from a broken exhaust clamp. Though not a big issue I had to come up with a clever repair as I have the twin exhausts on my bike and one is mounted directly under the other on a twin clamp and this had broken at the top. Using half a new clamp I attached this to the old one and a bit of drilling and bolting and all was well and it was fit to go again. Fuel use is averaging out at about 6-7 litres a lap which should leave three in the tank when I come in for the fuel stop in the race. As a family we decide to get the electric train and go to Laxey then to top the top of the mountain, it was nice to have relaxing family day the weather was so clear we could see for miles from the top of Snaefell, bloody typical that is !  A great day but I must be ready to be back to business Monday .
Monday 1st . Originally this should have been my race day but because of the lost practice it was decided we would race Tuesday instead and give us extra practice today.My daughter comes over from the Ballaugh camp site a we decide we will watch the racing which is before my practice from the field just before the bikes pull into the pits , its local and there is quite a good view from there. There are two races today the 350 and the Formula 1 and 2 race. From friendships I formed via the web site forum in the build up to getting here I have my personal favourites and would like them to do well .
I think this was the day the organisers were having some communication issues and without them nothing could happen , but regardless of the reason our practice time was getting put further and further back which was not good and then you begin to think are you going to loose another one which really was the last thing we needed at this stage. We watch and enjoy the races, all I really have to do at this stage is keep an eye on the time so I can get my bike up to technical inspection when my group is called. The technical call comes and I get the bike up there and it passes without any problems and then its into the holding bay where the time warmers go on .
We get informed we will be going out down the pit lane which I am pleased about . This will give me the opportunity to work out my pit speed using the read out display at the other end of the pit lane . The pit lane speed limit is set at 60 kph and during the race exceeding this limit will cost you either a time penalty or at it's worse disqualification if you are in excess of 100 KPH so its well worth getting an idea of the revs in first gear so you have a safe speed to pass through at. This will be the first and last time I will be able to do this.
As the clock ticks down to the beginning of the practice you can see how the nerves effect different people both riders and assistants are all caught up as the tension mounts. On reflection the nerves I feel seem less intense than those I often experience when going club racing , I put this down to the fact its just me and the course I am not going of down Bray Hill with over 35 other riders like I would in my usual short circuit racing. Plus also the fact that this has been a long time in the planning and I intend to enjoy every moment. I take all my racing seriously but always try to enjoy the lighter side of life even when waiting in line to Shoot of down Bray Hill things like getting a photo with Masayuki Yamanaka a fellow newcomer who was about 18 inches shorter that me he has his helmet on in the shot but I know hes smiling , everybody waiting there has that same buzz inside, what ever method it uses to manifest itself I know its in there.
At last we get called up to the end of the pit lane and as I am released I realize the pit lane speed indicator is not working which is rather frustrating so I will have to think of another plan for race day. I drive out of the end of pit lane glance back just to check its clear and blast of towards the top of Bray.I do not feel nervous but it still takes full on mental commitment to attack the bottom of Bray on full throttle, As a sexagenarian and the oldest newcomer I should be taking things easy but I have not come this far to do that so its up Agos leap and of towards the sun light. I am happy with most of the course apart from two corners where I know I can go quicker but my self protection valve takes over, the valve is located in my bottle zone and is connected directly to my wrist and as I approach the two corners in question the valve activates and rolls the throttle of and no encouragement from me can persuade it other wise. But at a place like this I am glad I have my valve , it might be old but it works and brings me back safe again.
For the first time this evenings practice was not without a bike issue, an issue that riding a two stroke over the years might have helped me deal with. I was approaching the end of the mountain mile and as I rolled of the throttle the revs stayed high I immediately pulled the clutch which means I can then free wheel, I blipped the throttle at the same time and the revs came down,doing this makes cornering harder as you are not driving the bike but I got round anyway and carried on, not a massive issue but brings you to your senses if you needed it ! It happened again on the way down the mountain so I finished the lap with a little more caution than I might if this was not happening.  
Old enough to know better, young enough to have given it a go ! Icon_cool
(This post was last modified: 11-10-2015, 08:42 PM by Kursaal Flyer.)
11-10-2015, 08:37 PM
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matjaq Offline
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#40
RE: A Newcomers Diary .
Great stuff - one of those threads that really makes me glad the forum still exists after all the tribulations with iomtt.com, misbehaviour on here etc. 
11-10-2015, 09:25 PM
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