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A car guy at the TT

3 years ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


9 April 2021

As a rule, journalists writing words about a subject of which they have no knowledge rarely ends prettily. Of course it happens all the time, as anyone unlucky enough to have chanced across a copy of the Daily Mail will know, but I try to avoid it. But on this occasion I’m going to make an exception because for once I think my ignorance of the subject is actually helpful to the point I’m trying to make. That subject being motorcycles.

I know next to nothing about them. There was a time when I was a child when they held my interest almost as much as cars – I still have a curious yearning for a Kawasaki Z650 – but I know myself well enough to suspect very strongly that my enthusiasm for riding a bike would not be equalled by my talent, a mismatch that could prove fatal both literally and figuratively for a bloke in his mid 50s learning to ride for the first time.

But one friend in particular – Colin Goodwin, another writer occasionally of this parish – has been insistent on sharing his passion. Goodwin has done it all: he’s earned a living from riding bikes as a dispatch rider, got his kicks racing them (I well recall him turning up to my 40th late, limping and still smeared with blood from an elective dismount at Snetterton) and has ridden and rebuilt dozens over the decades. And he thought my life incomplete without a visit to the Isle of Man.

Even I could not have spent this long around and about racing machinery without some knowledge of the Tourist Trophy races held there since 1907. I even knew some of the names, John McGuinness of course, Ian Hutchinson and various Dunlops and the fact that the races around the 37-mile mountain course offered a unique spectacle. I’d watched some on YouTube and been incredulous as what I’d seen.

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