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10.7.17

Isle of Man 2017 | Fairy Bridge

I remember when I first went to the Isle of Man. My brother told me that on the way to the campsite the taxi would be taking me past the Fairy Bridge and told me I had to wave and say hello to the fairies for good luck.
The taxi driver pointed the bridge out to me, I saw bikes parked on the road and leather clad men stood looking down at the stream and reading the tree and the messages on the stones. I didn't wave, it felt a bit silly to be honest, although the idea was sweet and I certainly didn't expect to see grown men in leathers, big beards...proper MEN, standing saying hello to fairies.

My brother took me along to the bridge the following day and we had a look. The tributes were lovely, but I didn't really pay too much attention to what was there. Last year being the same.

This year though, I had a day of exploring by myself and I went along in my car and decided to take my camera...and thankfully took my sunglasses to hide the tears that filled my eyes.
I decided to really take time to look at what was pinned to the trees, the special items people had hung from branches, the etched marks in the stones, the stickers on the Fairy Bridge sign. The plaques rested by the stream, the bike gloves laid in tribute to a fallen rider.

The more I go to the island, the more I watch the sport, the more I learn about it, the more I feel this emotional, mental link to anything to do with the island and with the sport itself. Not even the sport, just bikes too I suppose.

Reading the tributes made me think back to who I was back in 2015 when I thought it was all a bit silly. The Fairy Bridge to me, now, brings everyone together. It gives everyone, of all ages, race, nationality or belief, a little hope and comfort.

As I stood there, longer than others, watching people come and go, I realised the change in how my body felt. My head felt lighter, my body felt lifted. Because although a lot of what you read and see is sad, the atmosphere at the Fairy Bridge is beautiful. Truly beautiful.

And now everytime I drive past that bridge, I wave and say hello to those Fairies. For good luck, and for respect.