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11.6.15

Leathers and Beards

This has been so hard to sit down and write. When I was there, at the Isle of Man, I made so many notes about what I would come back and write about. I even wished my laptop was with me so I could write whilst I was there (I wasn't aware of the clubhouse wifi and powerpoint access).
But then I came home and despite writing a post on my phone whilst on the plane back I haven't been up to sharing it.

The main reason I think, for not writing is because I wanted to keep it all to myself. Not in a "I don't want to tell people what I did" kind of way, but more in a way of wanting to protect my memories I suppose.

I think the other thing is that it is the hardest experience to explain. You literally can not put into words how amazing the island and the event is. I thought I knew what to expect just by watching some Youtube videos and by looking through some of my brothers but the first time you hear the bikes coming towards you (well, not towards you, unless if you are completely irresponsible and are stood in the middle of the road) it is really quite overwhelming and special.
I instantly went from not being into bikes and the sport at all to being hooked. The speed, the sound, the smell. Everything about it.
Before I went I could name 3 of the current racers, and two who had died because of racing. Now, I can name, and recognise the names, of more of the racers. And in the mornings the first thing I check is the TT pages on Facebook rather than Instagram and Bloglovin.
Recording Big Brother has been replaced by recording ITV4 to catch up on that days racing.

I worried that I would feel a little out of place. I don't know much about bikes really, and it's not like I appreciated the noise either. I also knew I would be outnumbered by men, particularly on the campsite and would feel like an outsider.
The truth is, you soon get swept up into it all. Everyone is there because they love bikes, and as soon as you say "Hey! This is my first time" you have your ice breaker to then talk about what you think so far, if you'd be back and so on.
We met so many lovely people whilst there. You just automatically talk to everyone around you when watching the races. You talk about all sorts of things, not just about the racing.
There are people you will never see again, and then those who you click with and who you want to keep in touch with. Those who you've made proper, solid memories with and who made your week what it was. Those people who you hope to meet again, and want everything to be the same.

The weather was a bit hit and miss for the 5 days I was there, which was probably a good thing considering that 85% of the people there are wearing leathers of some kind.
On the Saturday we went for a very long, tiring walk and although I wasn't wearing leather trousers and was instead wearing black skinny jeans, I had that 'Ross from Friends' moment. Fun times when in a small, not quite so pleasant public toilet!
And beards!! So many people....mostly men...had a beard! It was like the "in thing" for TT 2015 to the point that if you didn't have a beard then you really stood out. Other than if you were female of course.

I couldn't have loved it any more than I did....well that's a lie. Seeing William Dunlop (Google him) would have been nice....as would a few extra days.