Saturday, 16 August 2014

IOM 2014 - Day 0 - The Crossing and Keys

Yesterday our Manx Grand Prix / Classic TT got underway. Up early to finish off some work and try get those "Just before you go..." work requests done. Kevan, who will be helping me out and spannering for the fortnight, arrived around lunchtime and we got the van packed. Unusually, we leave on time and enjoy the stop start traffic jams and crap weather all the way up to Liverpool ferry terminal. A 2 1/2 hour journey that takes 4 1/2 hours - normal.

After a year of being cosseted in a warm garage, the old bikes are dragged through a typhoon :-(

We pull into the ferry terminal with an hour to spare. Off to a good start (we've missed this ferry a few times before!). Kevan casually asks "You got the bike keys, right?". "Yeah, sure. They're in the tooxbox.". Toolbox. Toolbox? Fuuuuuuuuuuuck! I get that sinking feeling. We left the toolbox in my garage... right near the door... so we wouldn't forget it. Oh bollocks!

Too late to go back, even if we can get a place on the next ferry.  Going back would mean missing first practice... would also mean paying another exorbitant ferry crossing. We go through the options. Flights and hire car, passenger ferry crossing and hire car, courier, help from others. We make some calls and start putting a plan together. Soon we're onboard the ferry and heading out of Liverpool. We put some posts on a few facebook groups and the word goes out during our crossing. As I'm finishing up some more work at the end of the sailing we already have a few folks willing to help.

Posh seats for the team!

The good news is that the Ducati 888 has a keylass start, so at least we'll be able to get out on her until we can get the toolbox and other bike keys.

The ferry has one engine broken, so the crossing takes longer than usual. At midnight we dock in Douglas - I'm knackered. We roll off the deck and within minutes we're on Bray Hill. Getting out of the van and standing on Bray Hill... I start to feel those familiar heebie-jeebies :-) Now I'm getting excited :-) The last few weeks have just been so manic that I haven;t had much time to get excited about it all. Now I feel it! :-)

We unhitch the bikes, park up and crash for the night. Tomorrow afternoon we head out for first practice - oh yeah!

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