So, having started yesterday, this is our final day. We rode up the road that serves as part of the TT (‘Tourist Trophy’) course, the legendary annual motorbike race much loved for its lethal danger, which has been won by legendary riders such as Joey Dunlop and George Formby.
On a previous trip with Tim I found a new, more local slant on the TT. Young people hire buses and ‘do’ the circuit in fancy dress, riding the bus, stopping at all the pubs en route. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Nigel and I climbed up the TT course past the landmark of Creg ny Baa, and up and up and on past Snaefell, the highest point on the island, from which on a clear day according to legend you can see six ‘kingdoms’: the Isle of Man, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Car.
It was misty, grey and cool, and I’d had much better vis on my previous trip. Our long downhill shoot, the wind strongly behind us, got us into the second city – well, village – of Ramsey, and we continued along quiet roads towards the north point.
I managed to get lost in Bride – not the only time in my life one has caused me to go off-course disastrously – but eventually found Nigel again. He’d already been to the Point of Ayre, the northern extremity, but generously accompanied me back there.
We sat on the beach by the lighthouse and felt satisfied at the completion of the Isle of Man the End to End, as well as of a bar of chocolate. We chatted to some friendly locals and then to some tourists, all equally keen on cutting off our feet on the pictures they kindly took for us.
One irritating visitor woman bent my ear about my not wearing a helmet, but I consoled myself by wishing a series of minor revenges on her, like her treading in some dog muck or her heel breaking.
After coffee and cake in Ramsey we headed back to Douglas along the A2, much of it along the coast. We paralleled the world famous legendary historic Electric Railway, which we could have taken if it had been raining. Except it now was, steadily and wetly. It was a slog, a wet slog, with no views thanks to the cloud.
At last, after fifteen or so miles of dreary squelch, was the encouraging sight of Douglas Promenade at last looming out of the mist, and our guesthouse.
We had another convivial evening out, with more of the finest the island has to offer. I’m looking forward to getting back home tomorrow.
Miles today: 57
Miles Douglas to Point of Ayre: 45
Total miles on Man: 106