2021 will be the second year in a row motorcycles have failed to race round the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course. And we all miss it. For many people, myself included, the Isle of Man TT was the highlight of the year. Now, I can barely remember what the place looks like. But let’s not fret because surely by 2022, COVID-19 will be a thing of the past and race bikes will once again return to Mona’s Isle.
Because without the annual Tourist Trophy races, the Isle of Man would surely sink into the depths of the Irish Sea, wouldn’t it? Surely it’s economy would be in tatters without all the extra revenue the races bring? That’s certainly what I used to think. And I know I’m not the only one. But it’s been almost two years since the Isle of Man hosted a TT, and they seem to be doing alright.
The way they handled the initial coronavirus outbreak was pretty neat, blocking the ports for any non-essential travel fairly early. And because they got it under control sooner than the rest of Britain, they didn’t have to ‘lockdown’ as hard. We were all couped up at home, banned from the pubs, and it was business as usual for them.
For just about every country in the world, everything to do with the coronavirus has been bad news. People falling ill and dying, jobs lost, businesses going under and months spent without seeing friends and family. We’ve all suffered. But as a nation, thanks to good management, the Isle of Man seem to have weathered the storm better than most.
What’s all this got to do with the Isle of Man TT, I hear you ask. Well every year, thousands of people flock to the Isle of Man to spend their money and spread their germs all over the island for a fortnight in June. And then again for a week in August (for the Classic TT). And whilst a lot of the Manx people are glad of the revenue and the sheer excitement, a lot of them aren’t. For some, the TT races are more bother than they are worth. A fortnight of road closures. Extortionate flights and ferry crossings. Hundreds of pissed up, party goers.
And the fact that the Isle of Man hasn’t sunk and the people are all doing alright over there (apart from the 29 that died of COVID-19), is only going to add fuel to their ‘let’s cancel the TT’ fire.
In a world where everybody is so risk averse, it’s a wonder the TT still goes ahead. But I’m glad they do. Because it is one of the most spectacular events in the world. Nothing comes close. It’s steeped in history, and whether the Manx population like it or not, it’s the thing that really put their beautiful little island on the map.
SO if you are a faithful person, then do us a favour and pray to your god. Ask him (or her) to do us a solid and make sure the Isle of Man TT races continue. If you’re not faithful then keep your fingers and your toes crossed. Let’s all hope there will be bike screaming round the Mountain Course in 2022. And let’s hope it continues for years and years and years. As long as they keep letting me, I’ll keep going.