Friday August 24th
Dear Family & Friends,
Thursday we left The Gateway Inn in the Lake District and rode a couple of hours to the Liverpool Ferry Port for our trip to the Isle of Man. The weather was good and the ride was easy. We arrived 5 hours early so we had time to kill.
We decided to walk around downtown Liverpool. The first area we went to was a night club area that featured The Cavern. This was the club where the Beatles got their start in the late 1950s. Needles to say the area was cashing in on their fame with lots of Beatle bars, clubs, stores, etc. A bit commercial but still fun.
Then we walked around the shopping area. I was surprised since it has one of the biggest indoor/outdoor shopping malls I have ever seen. It was so exhausting we decided we needed a drink and we went back down to the water front and found a pub over looking the bay. When we went in it was still decent weather but by the time we came back out it was POURING rain.. Needless to say I had left my jacket back on my motorcycle so by the time I walked back to the bike I was pretty much drenched. Not only that but I had left my helmet hanging on my bike up side down so it had 3” of water in it.. Nothing better than putting on a soggy helmet…..
It was finally time to board the ferry so we rode down to the ferry port and checked in. Once your in line for the ferry there are hundreds of motorcycles and motorcyclists waiting. All excited to go to the Isle of Man. Many of the people there were curious about my California license plate so I had plenty questions to answer and plenty of people to talk to.
Once we boarded the ferry we were off to the Isle of Man. The ferry left about 7:15PM and was due at the isle around 10:15pm. It is a large catamaran ferry and the last time we took it, it was a very smooth crossing. This time the captain warned us of rough seas and he was not kidding. Normally catamarans are very stable but that night it rocked back and forth so badly you could not stand up without holding onto something solid!
When we arrived we rode off the ferry directly into downtown Douglas, the capitol of the Isle of Man and where our hotel was.
At night Douglas is a very beautiful city with its Victorian architecture and beautiful lighting all along the sea front. It was an exciting welcome.
The next morning we got up excited to be here. So much to do it was hard to know where to start.
First we went to a local motorcycle museum I had been wanting to see. It was Murray’s Motorcycles. Murray was an eccentric friendly old man with an obsession for motorcycles. The museum had several large buildings in his back yard full of motorcycles, motorcycle parts, and motorcycle memorabilia. Every where stuff was stacked to the ceiling. At first I thought Murray must be slightly nuts,,, then I began to realized I am just one or two years behind him on the crazy scale…
After that, since the weather was good, we decide to ride the TT course. It is a 37 mile public road that goes round the island, through villages and country side, up and down hills. Absolutely great motorcycling both for the excitement of the roads and the scenery.. I had ridden this course 5 years ago when I was here and wanted to see if I could cut my lap time down.. I was able to shave off 55 minutes from my previous time for a personal best, but I think most of that was because this time we didn’t stop for lunch…
After our blistering lap we went to the start finish area and walked around the pit area. So much to see. I love looking at old bikes. I also started on my souvenir shopping. So many cool items with the TT logo.. I am sure Bonnie will be thrilled with the TT motorcycle tea towel I got her…
Around 3pm we decide a couple of hour nap was in order. We met again around 5:30pm and walked up to the race circuit. This race is held on public roads so around 6pm they set up barriers , get the cars off the roads and let the evening practice begin. When you see the bikes come down Brea Hill the speeds are so incredibly fast it is hard to imagine how a human can do it.. It definitely takes a serious lack of imagination to race like this since any slight mistake and you go hurdling into stone walls at break neck speeds. It is exciting to watch with amazing skill and daring, but it is also the most dangerous sport in the world so at times I feel guilty enjoying these men take such tremendous risks.
After a couple of hours of watching practice we wandered off to a local pub for our evening gin and tonic and then to a great steak dinner. Everyone was in a great mood and enjoying the first day of our great adventure.
All and all a perfect first day at the Isle of Man and still so much more to do.
For photos go to:
First a little Food Porn.. This is an English Mixed Grill. Definitely NOT approved my the American Heart Association..
In Liverpool we went to a sandwich shop for lunch. The menu feature “Genuine New York Style Pastrami” sandwiches. Obviously they had never been to NY.. A BIG disappointment.
Here was my breakfast the next day. To atone for my BAD eating habits I ate something as healthy as I could find here..
Downtown Liverpool. A pretty cool city.
Now entering the Beatle section of town..
Where the Beatles got their start although I think it has been remodeled and great cleaned up.
Can you tell who is supposed to be John Lennon??
The Who’s Who of rock and roll carved into the bricks here.
Over looking the bar at a local pub.
This seagull kept staring out me begging for food. It looked so fat it couldn’t fly..
Enjoying a Liverpool pub!
These two men rode their vintage Norton motorcycles, through the rain, from Germany just to attend this event!! Dedication.
Motorcycles and motorcyclist waiting to ferry off to the Isle of Man.
This couple arrived in the rain riding their 1949 Vincent motorcycle!
The hull of the ferry was just a sea of motorcycles!
Beautiful Douglas on the Isle of Man. A great site to welcome us.
At the start finish of the TT course..
Some more scenes from our ride around the TT course.
Welcome to Mad Murray’s Motorcycle Museum..
Flower pots.. what a great use for my old helmets!!