2013-07-28 - Welcome to the TT

My visit to the Isle of Man last year coincided with the annual TT races. For those unfamiliar with the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy), it is one of the most dangerous races in the world, being held on the normal country roads around the island. Since it started in 1907, more than 240 riders have died while competing and many more enthusiasts are killed trying to tame the track. It is insane on so many levels but draws a fanatical legion of followers to the island each year.

Of course, I was expecting the bikes to be going fast but nothing can quite prepare you for seeing them topping 330km/hr only a few metres away. I almost managed to get a media pass for the race but unfortunately it fell through at the last minute so I made do with whatever public vantage points I could find. This shot is taken at the bottom of Bray Hill in Douglas, near the start of the race. Riders are probably doing around 280km/hr here, which I still find hard to fathom, despite having seen it in person. Being one of the first photographs I took of the practice session, I hadn't worked out the best settings so there is a lot more blur than I wanted. I don't really mind it though because it comes closer to representing what it is like watching the bikes go by - they're so fast that you don't have time to take them in before they're gone...

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