Ken Conquers the Isle of Man

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Isle of Man CC

Brief report for those who are interested and may consider next year....


About 75 cyclists did this event this year in one form or another. More than double last year.

There was a 3-lap relay event, or individuals could do 1, 2 or 3 laps.

I was happy to just do one lap of the TT mountain course, as Tess - my other half - would have got very bored waiting around.


Cyclists were started at 30 second intervals, and timed.


The TT course is just short of 38 miles. Great road surface all the way round. Lots of wonderful views at different places, especially high up the mountain.

2132 feet of ascent altogether. Much of that comes in the 2 to 3 miles after you get to Ramsay, which is about 7% to 8% until you reach the comparative safety of Guthrie's corner, after which it is still uphill to Hailwoods Heights, but at least you can do 10 or 11 mph after Guthrie's.

The other, easier and shorter, ascent comes after Glen Helen, earlier in the ride.


There are many great descents during the circuit, but the best by far is the straight descent that approaches Creg ny baa.

On Chris Boardman's record-breaking lap in the 90s he touched 60mph there. I only managed 45. (Slight adverse wind, and I couldn't be bothered to pedal very much!) That descent starts well, then gets steeper and better, then the gradient eases before you get to the Creg pub, which is just as well as there is a 90 degree right hand bend there.


I did the lap in 2h 47m (including 9 minutes stationary eating bananas and jelly babies), which is almost exactly twice the time Boardman took when he set the lap record, so now I have a very clear idea of how far off the pace of elite cyclists I am. I suspect Boardman didn't stop to eat any bananas.


However, of the 17 solo 1-lap cyclists I came home in the 4th best time. I was chuffed with that considering that 6 days before the ride I was advised by a doctor to lay off cycling for a few weeks. Anyway, you know me, and I was just going to do it, whatever.


The roads were not closed, but they weren't very busy for most of the circuit. You are warned that the section out of Ramsay has no speed limit and motorcyclists can come up from behind you at 150mph.


Next year's event is pencilled in for Saturday 19th September.


Finally, not one to miss a photo opportunity, I reckon this is the only time you'll see me on a podium. Shame I had no champers.



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