Is the Classic TT just for race fans or is it worth the pilgrimage next year? Adam ‘Chad’ Childs, a TT racer himself, gets behind the scenes to give us his reflections on this year’s event.
Words and photography by Adam Childs
The Classic TT is an overload on the senses. The sounds and smells take you back in time, with the distinctive ear-bleeding noise of multi-cylinder machines like an MV 350 and 500, or the rib-tingling drone of a single-cylinder race bike.
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Equally, the smells are almost overwhelming, as two-stroke clings to the air, causing a slight haze across the paddock, mixing with Castrol R.
Throughout the day the paddock is alive to the sounds of distinctive bikes, from a race-prepared Ducati 888, to an AJS 350.
The majority of race fans flock to the Island to witness TT stars battle it out on the closed road circuit, with perfectly prepared classic machinery – but there is more to the Classic TT than just the racing.
The paddock is relaxed, riders and teams don’t hide in motorhomes, there is a festival feel and a family atmosphere to the paddock. It’s still the TT, but at a more relaxed pace.
Then you have the VMCC day at Jurby race circuit, the parade laps and the regular bumping into famous racers from past and present. Museums, stunning (weather permitting) scenery and the simple fact nothing on the Isle of Man is ever very far away.
Then there’s the Island itself at your disposal. If you want to escape the paddock the roads are quieter, there isn’t the nightmare traffic of the TT and every car park reveals a biking gem, from an FS1E to a Kawasaki Z1300.
If you want to get close and experience the TT at a more relaxed pace, where the action is just as frantic and scary – the Classic TT shouldn’t be missed.
I was there for the racing and I was a little envious when the riders took off from that famous start line. I know what lay ahead of them, the concentration needed and what the circuit has got to challenge them.
But I was also lucky enough to have a go on two of my dream bikes, a brace of beautifully prepared Honda RS250 two-strokes, including the very bike that would carry Bruce Anstey to an extremely emotional win later in the week.
Read more and view more images in the October 2019 issue of CBG – on sale now!Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.