Rid­ing with the gods

MCN - - LIFE ON BIKES -

Moodie, Griffiths, An­stey, Brit­ton and McGuin­ness peel as one into the three apexes of the 32nd in what looks like the chore­ographed move­ments of bik­ing gods. I watch from the back of the pack, try­ing my hard­est to sim­ply stay at­tached on the run through Windy Cor­ner. Onto the 33rd we move, fol­low­ing their sweep­ing lines out to­wards the road’s edge be­fore dip­ping to­wards the first apex, when David Jef­feries ar­rives, mov­ing past me on the out­side as if I was stand­ing still. As he moves to­wards the first apex, he turns around fully, giv­ing me the thumbs up. My brain tells my left hand to re­spond with a thumbs up, self preser­va­tion over­rides and re­leases my lit­tle pinky. Jef­feries ac­knowl­edges with an­other thumbs up, all the time fac­ing back­wards to­wards me whilst leav­ing a large black line across the road as he drifts through the first and then sec­ond apexes. And this was just Wed­nes­day night prac­tice. I am one of those you don’t of­ten hear about at the TT, al­ways start­ing to­wards the back of the grid with last year's bike, mis-matched leathers and no spon­sors, but with the same aim to qual­ify and be on the same tar­mac as the gods. These days you are more likely to find me lis­ten­ing to the TT on the ra­dio, wob­bling around MX tracks with my kids who tell any­one that will lis­ten they are faster than their dad who was once a TT rider. Damien Brady, email

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