As I travel to BMW Dealers in the US and give my presentation the TT Experience, I always dedicate a few minutes to the sidecars. Sidecar racing is a bit difficult to describe until you see it. It’s much like the rest of the TT but more so. I always describe it a cross between Star Wars and insanity.
Just look at this photo, doesn’t it look like a speeder?
Flying over Ballaugh Bridge just like the solo riders, the sidecars are an amazing test of the riders, the passengers and the machine. Their graceful flight belies the impact of the landing. (#5 – Pete Founds & Jevan Walmsley).
The passengers, appropriately and affectionately called Monkeys, must have strength, flexibility, balancing and an unyielding trust in their driver. The have very little to hang onto in trying to balance the weight distribution and counteract the force of turning, the passenger lays out and has turbulent landing.
Just a few yards down the course, they pick up speed with the passengers tucked in and they are gone.
Ben and Tom Birchall below have won the last 8 sidecar events at the TT, and on Monday they made it #9. They move as a unit, smooth and graceful and FAST! Really, really FAST!
If you find this short post intriguing, check out the video 3-Wheeling!By my buddy Chris Beauman.
Pulling back the curtain on Sunday morning offered little hope there would be any racing. Checking all of the weather apps on my phone offered little encouragement. Socked in and puddles in the street, I was trying to decide how I was going to spend the day.
But as the hours ticked by, the sky brightened, and the road closing schedule was unchanged – All roads closing at 12:45 and practice for sidecars at 1:30. Although 1:30 morphed into 3:00 due to damp roads, eventually you could hear engines revving on the grid via race radio.
I had been dropped off at Braddan Bridge, less than 2 miles from the start. I have shot well from there in the past and it was relatively easy to get back to the house if things didn’t go well.
But things did go! And finally, there were motorbikes around the course. A small group of who had traveled from Florence were sitting on the wall behind me, beaming, and there was great energy in the crowd who had be patiently waiting, many in very damp tents.
For just over two hours, there were sidecars, superbikes, superstocks and supersports flying by Braddan Church.
Riders tested as many bikes as they could as quickly as possible, some taking two laps and some pitting every lap to make adjustments.
With only two practice sessions on the Superbikes they would be racing on Monday.
The afternoon wrapped up with one lap practice for the TT Zero bikes, I love the idea of the electric bikes but they are hard to shoot because I can never hear them coming.
Heading back on the course today for lots of racing and practice.