The Isle of Man appears as just a blip between Great Britain and Ireland on the European map. But to motorcycle fans, it’s a place of pilgrimage. For more than 100 years, they have flocked to the island for the heart-pumping, crowd-pleasing Isle of Man TT Races (May 25-June 7), set against a bucolic backdrop of countryside and seashore.
Competitors will take on a “seemingly never-ending series of bends, bumps, jumps, stone walls, manhole covers and telegraph poles” — all at speeds reaching 200 mph. Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Aprilia and BMW bikes, some with sidecars, tear through the 37-mile Mountain Course, leaning into curves and accelerating through straightaways past farms, hedgerows and rocky coastlines.
Motorcycle fans gather along the promenade in front of Peel Castle during the annual Isle of Man TT Races. (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)Thousands of fans descend on the island, lining the course’s winding country roads and filling pubs and music tents with raucous good cheer. Lodging can’t keep up with demand, so many race fans camp, while others stay with local families in a government-approved home-shareRead More »from Isle of Man motorcycle races highlight British islands