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 After All This Time

I was devastated when the TT was cancelled this year and I reacted bitterly by cancelling my own trip over after a run of more than fifty years. How could I face a June without the feeling of total physical and mental release as I clamber onto the jolly ferry in Liverpool. How could I be made to miss seeing so many friends and acquaintances coming from the four corners of the planet after all those years.

Up to that very last minute we had all hoped that the TT would be run as a part of the Annual Motorcycling Festival which has now grown to fill the two weeks following the May Bank Holiday.

A number of things happened after the TT last year which may have swayed the decision-makers to cancel. Not least was the death of Mr TT, Joey Dunlop who lost his life not on the Mountain but at a small meeting in Tallinn, Estonia----yet his loss showed that even the gods are not invincible.

A good friend, Simon Beck, lost his life at the 33rd and over the last few years there have been a number of other high echelon fatalities which must have made people think.

The Superbike racing conflicts with the TT and riders who would have done the TT now take the prime TV-covered events. Polls made while people are on the Island shows a disturbing trend towards the "we ain't here for the TT", and with all the extra sideshows the TT tends to have taken second place lately. I hope that this is not what it's all about.

So perhaps it is a good time to use this year to reappraise the TT. I now know that I come to the TT purely for a nostalgia kick, remembering those heady days in the past. My brain is full of facts from byegone races and every recent year has become a pre-set routine.

I book as I leave and then count off the days until I again set out for the ferry. My homestay is always there ready for me and my friends know exactly where to find me on nearly every day and night whilst I am on the Island. Holiday !!--That's a joke-with all the early mornings and late nights I need a holiday when I get home !!

This year, those people who will still be making the effort to go will be worth interviewing post-festival to see if the Island can run the piss-up in the brewery. It is what this group of people (are they really TT fans ?) have seen and done that will steer the decisions for 2002. However, I am acutely worried that the TT course will be the open-to-all race track which we all dread, for this year there won't be the straw bales normally laid on certain parts of the course. People will want to ride the course as usual but at least the racing brought in the bale protection of wall edges and fencing. I dread to think of people just riding round and round just for the fun of it with a "the TT is off--we will be the TT" mentality. I may be wrong, (I hope I am) but this could be our worst nightmare. Ah well, I am planning TT 2002 already and thinking very positively.

I hope you are all thinking positively too.

Ian Huntly

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