Three friends from the West Midlands made what is now their traditional two-yearly pilgrimage to the Isle of Man to cycle a chartiy lap of the TT course.
John Gidlow, Ian Mander and Stewart Anderson first made the trip in 2009 returning with their bicycles in 2011 and 2013 and have so far raised around £3,500 in total for the Joey Dunlop Foundation.
‘We thought we would do things in style this time so we are taking longer over the trip and staying in a guest house. Every time before, it’s been the late ferry and we’ve just spent a day here, cycled the lap then gone home again on the next boat,’ said John, who also brought his 1962 Triumph with him this time.
‘It’s two laps for me today. One human powered lap then one cheating, which is a bit easier,’ he said.
The intention had been to take part in the Joey Dunlop lap, originally planned to take place on July 2, but that has now been rescheduled for August 23, the middle Sunday between Manx Grand Prix and Classic TT race and practice week.
‘So we are here today for our own Joey Dunlop 15th anniversary lap,’ John said.
‘Last time we came in March 2013 there had been snow and and if we had been a day later we would have been stuck in it. On that occasion we came down the mountain and looked back at the illuminated sign and it said ‘Mountain Closed’.
‘We thought it might be better in July,’ he added, peering through the swirling mist and getting a fleeting glimpse of Braddan Church on the opposite side of the road.
All three men said they were delighted and privileged to contribute to the Joey Dunlop Foundation project which provides year-round holiday accommodation for any disabled visitors to the island. The house at Braddan Bridge is to be extended shortly to increase the accommodation it can offer.
‘Of course one of the great advantages of setting off slightly later in the day this time is that the pubs will be open. It’s very important for an athlete to stay hydrated along the route,’ he said.
The three expected to complete the route in just under three hours, hydration stops excepted.
Anyone wanting to donate can do so via Just Giving on the JDF website. See Facebook A Lap for Joey.