The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (or IOMTT) is the most challenging road race in the world. Anyone from North America who’s made the pilgrimage to the Isle of Man in May/June to watch the races will inevitably experience the post TT blues. Beginning somewhere mid-September it continues to grow with each drop in temperature.
For those who haven’t trekked to the tiny isle in the middle of the Irish Sea, they just don’t understand when you say things like, yeah, your new puppy is adorable, but do you think McGuinness has it in him to break Joey’s win record? Or, when you corner someone in the elevator to discuss Kiwi racer Bruce Anstey’s amazing superbike lap record. How could everyone not share your excitement? It boggles the mind.
Let’s face it, there is no cure. As memories of your journey to racing mecca fades, you’ll do anything to keep them alive. You’ll suffer through endless chatter and commercials on TT365 online radio, hoping they replay coverage you recognize, so you can imagine you hear yourself in the crowd. You watch poorly edited, pirated TT clips of ITV TT coverage that someone’s recorded off the TV using their camera phone. Adding to the pain, you have to watch these videos laid down to that King of the Mountain song, or worse, a Nickleback track. Finally, you find yourself at 3 a.m. sitting in the basement amongst the wreckage of your VCR/DVD player trying to get it to work so you can watch old tape cassettes.
It’s like chasing the dragon’s tail. None of this will be the same thing as being there, hanging outside the pub with fellow race fans from all over the world, or following press photographers as they trek through woods and fields for the best photo ops, or rising to your feet at the grandstand to watch riders take off from the start or return for refueling.
It’s like riding your dream bike for two weeks, then coming home to drive a moped. Meep-meep.
So, what do you do? You’ve alienated your friends, been subjected to Nickelback and made questionable decisions at 3 a.m. in your pajamas.
Look, you know you’re going back to the IOM; you’ve been marking ‘X’s” on the calendar and you’ve had your bags packed since October. Until your return to walking around the paddock, cheering on your favourite riders, or enjoy a beer at Bushy’s, consider killing some time by checking out these new releases written by riders, photographers or journalists who love the iconic races. It may not be the real thing, but it is the next best thing.
Nicole Winters, author of TT: Full Throttle, shares her top picks of Isle of Man TT books. Take a look at the next page.