Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland
Let's be honest, it's not everyone who has what it takes to be a fervent fanatical follower of Irish real motorcycle road racing, especially so when it's being hosted on some of the worst imaginable hair raising roads on the Island of Ireland - North or South.
This isn't, nor has it ever been, a sport for faint hearted fans, or indeed, the squeamish. Come to think of it, it's not a sport for faint hearted competitors either, or indeed, the squeamish.
Find me a person who claims real road racing isn't a highly dangerous sport for either the competitor or fan, and I'll show you a fool, an imbecile, a moron, one of our local eejits.
I'm reliably informed that racing a high powered motorcycle at speed along narrow winding country roads can be a breathtaking experience - even for those who watch from behind the hedges - for both though, it can be highly dangerous, fatal even, as has been proven - time and time again.
I've also heard some guys claim, that the foregoing breathtaking experience, is equal to, or perhaps better than - sex. Obviously they haven't had an encounter with me yet, but first, I'd be asking to see their medical insurance, after all, motorcycle road racing isn't the only highly dangerous sport.
During a debate when the rate of fatalities had soared some years past, one of our former competitors attempted to convince all and sundry it wasn't due to the increased power and speed of the machines. After all, hadn't motorcycles in the sixties been capable of speeds in access of 170 mph, and you know what? He was correct, although he did omit one small fact - year on year, with the aid of never ending new technology, the extra power being coaxed from motorcycle engines has affected their acceleration considerably more than their actual top speed.
Motorcycles of the seventies era reached their maximum speed in a much shorter distance than their predecessors of the sixties. And then we had the eighties, nineties, noughties, and now, the acceleration of a modern racing machine simply beggars belief. They accelerate from zero to 170mph nearly three minutes faster than some guys I've known have lasted, and they barely made the three minutes before expiring, some a lot lot less.
Obviously then, the room for errors in the midst of a real road race is practically non-existent, which makes the need for safety at our circuits imperative - for competitors and fans alike.
Just imagine the scenario - a narrow country road in scenic Northern Ireland, you're in the middle of a close fought race - you're on board an extremely powerful motorcycle - the course approximately 5.4 miles of undulating, narrow twisty bumpy, tarmac - you're average speed per lap is 100mph plus, along either side of the thin ribbon of black tarmac – in a blur - unforgiving trees, walls, telegraph poles, hedges, houses, and spectators flash past so close you see the whites of their eyes, and right there in the middle of this narrow road, you encounter a pile of straw bales, sand bags, and your speed - approximately 140 mph plus - is it a barricade!* No! Allegedly, it's a chicane, and you're a competitor in the Tandragee 100 motorcycle real road race.
Seconds later – assuming you're still alive - you're approaching a dangerous 90 degree right hand bend, you're travelling at 150mph, your brakes fail - where is the run-off area, where is the slip road?** There isn’t any - safety conscious experienced officials declare these tracks to be safe for the intended purpose - certify them as being just that - safe.
*On a fateful Saturday during the Tandragee 100, May 2007, the extremely popular Ardglass motorcycle road racer John Donnan tragically lost his life as a result of a horrendous 'accident'.
**On a fateful Saturday during the Tandragee 100, May 2008, the extremely popular Dublin-born motorcycle road racer Martin Finnegan tragically lost his life as a result of a horrendous 'accident'.
Two more dark days in the history of real road racing, and not only in Northern Ireland. A few short years on, more serious injuries, more fatalities, and the sickening truth of the tragedies now emerge, but have lessons been learned? You are obviously not aware of the hilariously funny Irish definition of the word - SAFETY!
Save Our Sport From Evil
©2010 Motorcycle RealRoadRacing Blog by Barbiegirl Northern Ireland