Leaving the IOM
Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
71Trip End Jul 10, 2011
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Where I stayed
Bancroft Hotel Berkeley
Read my review - 2/5 stars
Read my review - 2/5 stars
The usual suspects were queued up; Fabulous Phil ARNOLD and Dangerous Darren GUTHRIE, Lou and Eric, Mark and Kate. All of us heading in different directions when we reach England. Phil & Darren to Aragon in Spain for the next round of Superbikes then to Assen for the MotoGP. Lou & Eric were off to see friends in the south of England and then to Assen in the Netherlands for the MotoGP. Mark & Kate - well with three weeks remaining they could prpobably get to Siberia and back the way the put the miles behind them. Us - north to the Land of the Jocks (Scotland) to ride to John O' Groats. Then Greg & Kerrie to Yorkshire and then to Assen for the MotoGP and Chris to Ireland to catch up on his family history.
After a relatively short wait we were called forward onto the ferry where we secured our bikes.
We then found ouir way upstairs and into the lounge where we avoided a hearty English breakfast of grease on toast aka a full English breakfast, and settled for toast & jam for Greg and eggs on toast for Kerrie. We sat opposite a man and his wife who lived at Heysham where the ferry docks. The guy Phil, had been on the IOM for two weeks working a pit crew for Michael RUTTER, one of the higher profile riders to compete in the TT. RUTTER rode a Ducati and the Phil said its engine was only good for 10 laps of the TT ie 380 odd miles and the required a complete rebuild at 10,000 pounds per go. RUTTER took six engines to the TT and used the lot. Expensive hobby!
Phil said he knows the King of the Mountain John McGUINESS (17 TT wins) very well and lives around the corner from him and at one time was a member of his pit crew. He said he was also in Guy MARTIN's pit crew for two years but found our Guy hard work. By this time we started to think Phil was a name dropper and bullshit artist. Greg decided he needed a pit stop to escape. When he returned he noticed John McGUINESS talking to people at a table a few up from ours. All excited he rushed back to where Kerrie & Chris were sitting with Phil & his missus eager to pass the word and grab the camera only to be told by Kerrie that John McGUINESS had stopped and spoken to Phil and his missus as old friends. Bugger Greg missed it.
Ferry trips are notoriously boring and Greg (and Kerrie) both grabbed 40 winks. Luckily for us the Silverstone MotoGP was beinbg shown live on TV so we managed to convince the steward to change the TV channel. Since 95% of the passengers were bikers he didn't have much choice! It was pouring at Silverstone and we thought of our friends Mike and Jo HANNAN who had left the IOM several days before so the could watch the race live. Poor buggers (it was pissing down). Lucky buggers (they were there)! We managed to watch 5 laps of the race with Casey STONER in front before we had to disembark. We didn't find out until we reached Carlisle that Casey had won.
Once off the ferry, we stopped in the carpark and put on our wet weather gear because it was raining cats and dogs here too. We decided that we would just put our heads down and bums up and get to our digs at Carlisle as quick as we could. So that's what we did.
The TV guide in the paper said the MotoGP was being replayed at 3.30 pm so we should get there in time. We did only to discover our hotel didn't have the sports channel. Bugger, bugger, bugger.
My Review Of The Place I Stayed