Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
Malcolm Offline
Administrator
*******

Posts: 20,579
Threads: 18,390
Joined: Oct 2005
Reputation: 0
#1
Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
This is a re-post of a something that appeared on this site back in 2010, and something that I thought I would repost for people who didn't see it first time around.


"Attached is a pdf file of an original document that "TTfan" Ian Huntly very kindly forwarded to me and asked if it would be possible to upload it to the site for people to read.

Here it is, and I am sure that those of you who remember getting up at 4 o'clock in the morning in order to get out there to your chosen spot to watch the bikes go past at that ungodly hour, will enjoy reading this.

And for those of you who don't remember or never experienced the EMP's it may enlighten you in some way to a part of TT heritage that is no more.

You will require Adobe in order to be able to read this file.

Click this link to download the file - Early Morning Practice."


Malcolm
(This post was last modified: 06-03-2015, 12:08 AM by Malcolm.)
06-03-2015, 12:06 AM
Website Find Reply
gixxertim Offline
Member
***

Posts: 64
Threads: 3
Joined: Dec 2007
Reputation: 0
#2
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
Thanks for sharing never read that before, the morning practices were gone before I started going but my older friends have told me about them

Why were they stopped out of interest?
06-03-2015, 12:19 AM
Find Reply
sticky Offline
Perennial Contributor
*****

Posts: 763
Threads: 26
Joined: Mar 2006
Reputation: 0
#3
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
The official reason was that they couldn't get enough marshals.  I've heard suggestions that it was because of pressure from the financial sector come-overs.

To get a taste of what it was like, check this out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFTf3f_H7eU
06-03-2015, 12:25 AM
Website Find Reply
gixxertim Offline
Member
***

Posts: 64
Threads: 3
Joined: Dec 2007
Reputation: 0
#4
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
That looks pretty awesome to me broken sunshine and the birds singing
06-03-2015, 01:20 AM
Find Reply
mdvineng Offline
Probationer

Posts: 15
Threads: 0
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#5
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
At the manx it was always very cold at 5:30am but it had to be done, the sun in your eyes on occasions was always a memory tester. Putting a jumper over your leathers was OK in the pits waiting to go out but past second gear was utterly useless Smile even more so when raining Sad the best bit was getting back to the hospitality tent for hot cocoa or even better stopping at the bungalow for one of Fred's alcohol infused flasks before carrying on to the pits.
06-03-2015, 08:43 AM
Find Reply
Steady the Edward Offline
Banned

Posts: 666
Threads: 43
Joined: Nov 2014
#6
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
Something I never experienced in my earlier days of going over I could only afford to do the one week Race week , with hind sight I wish I had done the early morning practice week just the once , just to say I had done it ,


.
06-03-2015, 09:48 AM
Find Reply
larryd Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 717
Threads: 11
Joined: Oct 2005
Reputation: 0
#7
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
It's a sadistic thought, but I always enjoyed hammering through Kirkmichael just before 6 am on my Aermacchi, listening to the noise echoing back off the buildings and thinking of the unfortunate residents being blasted from their beds!!
06-03-2015, 10:49 AM
Find Reply
Jan Grainger Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 400
Threads: 16
Joined: Nov 2005
Reputation: 0
#8
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
Wicked thoughts Larry. I can see you grinning with delight whilst posting this.
06-03-2015, 10:56 AM
Find Reply
bsa499 Offline
Member
***

Posts: 238
Threads: 38
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#9
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
This is great. Many thanks Ian and Malcolm. I loved early morning practice and am fortunate enough to have taken part in 4 or 5 MGP's which had these practices (plus the long Thursday afternoon sessions). I can't remember when (or why) they ended but I really missed lining up on the Glencrutchery Road as dawn broke about to launch my racing machine around the world's greatest circuit. It was both an incredible and a surreal experience.
06-03-2015, 11:22 AM
Find Reply
c iom tt Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 650
Threads: 16
Joined: Feb 2009
Reputation: 2
#10
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
It use to be a chore draging myself out of bed just to go and watch the practice.
How the riders used to do it, and then go and do some quick lap times is some feat, especially with the low morning sun, and a cold misty Mountain.
Heros, one and all.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want something bad enough, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse
06-03-2015, 12:13 PM
Find Reply
Alfie Noakes Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 688
Threads: 5
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#11
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
The most uniquely atmospheric part of competing at the TT/Manx. I used to pay for the extra ACU insurance, gaffer tape a torch onto the tank, fire/warm up my TZ350 outside my folk's house then ride down to scrutineering from Birch Hill as the sun was coming up, the paddock/start line at those hours was a very surreal special place to be before setting off with lots of knowing excited looks between all the riders and mechanics - there was none of the daytime hustle n bustle just a load of us up early after little sleep, gagging for it and ready to go. The hairs on my body stand up just thinking back to those unforgettable precious early hours on my really crisp little 2-stroke racing bike, coming up out of Glen Helen onto Cronk y Voddy was my fave bit - a high speed wakey wakey out of the shadows.
06-03-2015, 01:27 PM
Find Reply
V Twin Mechanic Offline
Junior Member
**

Posts: 38
Threads: 4
Joined: Jan 2015
Reputation: 0
#12
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
One endearing memory that I have of early morning practice. On a nice still morning standing on the pit wall and listning to the sound of the riders leaving the grandstand, you could here them all the way down Bray Hill, then it went quite for a few seconds, no doubt the noise being obstructed by the leaves on the trees on the run down to Quarter bridge, you could then hear them just before they braked for QB, then listen to them accelerate out of QB and on to Union Mills, quite for a second or so then listen to them acceletrate out of UM's and up the rise.

A little later you could pick the exhaust noise up again as they acceletrated out od Sara's and down towards tne creg and follow the noise all the way to signpost corner, out of SP, quite again for a second or so whilst they went through the dip at Governers bridge and then acceletrate out of GB towards the grandstand.

That unforgetable experience was part of the TT, something that will never return, will it ?

Thank you Malcolm and Ian for posting that article about early morning practice.
06-03-2015, 02:04 PM
Find Reply
Tom Loughridge Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 275
Threads: 12
Joined: Oct 2005
Reputation: 0
#13
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
Early morning practice, loved every minute of it and had a strict ritual, no washing just dab the yes with a damp flannel keep the grease in the skin, pair women's tights and ex RAF pure silk inner gloves packet of Park Drive and a box of Swan Vestas taped to the bike to keep you going if you stopped on the mountain, always rode my Aemacchi along the front to the start to warm it up same a lot of others ands MV did from the Douglas bay, and the TT Supporters club tea tent was the purpose of going out in the first place.

No big money t=when I started and the bikes and riders did not look like Christmas trees,no stickers were allowed on the bikes everything except the bikers makers name everything eels was prohibited.

Glad I raced in the 60s/70s and early 80s when we raced for the love of the sport
When the flag drops the bullcrap stops
06-03-2015, 02:25 PM
Find Reply
roger9650 Offline
Member
***

Posts: 50
Threads: 0
Joined: Jun 2007
Reputation: 0
#14
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
The mornings were magical, (the evenings weren't so bad either) particularly on those still quiet sunny mornings. I remember being at Braddan on such a morning in 1963. Each bike could be heard setting off from the grandstand. The fours and two strokes were so different and added so much to the anticipation as to who would shortly appear. Also once at a lightweight session, standing behind them all warming up in a blue cloud of "R". Could smell it for days.
In '68 being at Keppel Gate and seeing what was obviously, by the sound, a british single coming round the 32nd followed at some distance by a two stroke. By the time they passed me Bill Ivy on a 125 was well ahead. It was then I finally accepted that the UK industry was finished.
Not sure whether it was a morning, but the roads open car would follow the last man as he passed the grandstand and we used to be up the mountain standing by to try and get a flyer immediately behind, (fat chance on a 350 Goldie!). This particular day the last guy was on a 50 and by the time they reached the 33rd there was a queue for quarter of a mile behind - I always felt sorry for that bloke.
06-03-2015, 04:18 PM
Find Reply
HammerHead Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 552
Threads: 23
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#15
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
I've never experienced morning practice but from memory the DVD TT: A Film Documentary gives a fairly evocative feel of what they were like. It was filmed in 2003.


"There is nothing so momentary as a sporting achievement, and nothing so lasting as the memory of it."
06-03-2015, 04:28 PM
Find Reply
Jan Grainger Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 400
Threads: 16
Joined: Nov 2005
Reputation: 0
#16
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
Thanks everyone, especially Larry and Tom, both of whom are good friends, for painting a picture of something I never got to see.
07-03-2015, 09:41 AM
Find Reply
jimmy182 Offline
Junior Member
**

Posts: 40
Threads: 0
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#17
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
What year did they finish ?


2003.
(This post was last modified: 07-03-2015, 05:15 PM by Malcolm.)
07-03-2015, 11:14 AM
Find Reply
sticky Offline
Perennial Contributor
*****

Posts: 763
Threads: 26
Joined: Mar 2006
Reputation: 0
#18
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
(06-03-2015, 01:20 AM)gixxertim Wrote: That looks pretty awesome to me broken sunshine and the birds singing

Masterful bit of camera work, panning up to the rising sun with the bird song mixing in with the engine note.  The rider is Frenchman Cyril Guillemin who raced a rotary Norton in the 2003 Senior.  Neither he or the bike were particularly quick (He was lapping around 96mph) but that doesn't seem to matter because in that clip he provided a sublime TT 'moment' and a fitting epitaph to morning practice.

A couple of memories:  In 1967 my old chap dragged me and my twin brother out of bed at 4am for morning practice and took us to Barregarrow.  First two through were Hailwood on the Honda 6 and Ago on the MV 3.  I can still hear it.

Fast forward many years, I was staying in a hotel in Onchan.  Due to the 'atmosphere' my room mates were creating after an evening of Bushys followed by an egg burger at the Swiss Cafe on the way back, the window was open Icon_biggrin .  I was suddenly awakened by someone yelling, seemimgly from right outside, "Put that b****y cigarette out!  If I can't have one neither can you!"  It was an announcement in pit lane over the tannoy and the wind must have been in exactly the right direction!  Naturally, I crawled out of bed and headed for the track.

Ronnie Mutch in his book 'Last Of The Great Road Races' summed it up:  "Morning practice is like Early Mass to Catholics.  Only the very devout and insane attend."
07-03-2015, 11:25 AM
Website Find Reply
Alfie Noakes Offline
Senior Member
****

Posts: 688
Threads: 5
Joined: Nov 2014
Reputation: 0
#19
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
The most focused, intense, friendly, bright/loud atmospheric thing i've ever been involved in. There wasn't a single person there who didn't have any other reason to be there .. fab times/memories.
08-03-2015, 10:31 AM
Find Reply
DaveOldham Offline
Probationer

Posts: 19
Threads: 0
Joined: Oct 2010
Reputation: 0
#20
RE: Early Morning Practice - A Piece of Written Nostalgia
What an absolutely fantastic piece of footage, thanks for sharing.
08-03-2015, 12:55 PM
Find Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)