Gentle reader. I may have mentioned it before , but if it has slipped under your radar I am a bit of a motorcycle nut. I ride them, I lust after them and I enjoy watching them go very very fast. Which is a good thing because every May around the roads between Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart the local Motor club runs the world famouse North west 200 races.
Tonite was the last practise night and a lovely evening it was too, sun, light breezes an almost perfect night. However it was marred by a "coming togehter" at 160mph of two of the 250cc riders. Robert Dunlop (brother of the many times world champion Joey) was seriously injured and another rider is reported to have a broken leg but is in no danger. The races on Saturday will not be the same without Robert but I am not alone in sending him loads of positive get well soon vibes in the hope he will be back next year fit and well.
On Saturday the roads will be closed at 10am and the races begin at 11am there is a full card of racing up until early evening. 150,000 to 250,000 people turn up and if the weather stays fair it is a grand day out. Best of all it's free, gratis, zilch just turn up and watch, what could be finer is you are a bike geek?
There is a really good BBC page here with a walk thru of the course (filmed on Tuesday this week! Look folks SUN in Ireland in MAY!!!!) click on the flags on the couse map and you get a wee minute of words from Philip McCallen (sorry no subtitles for the USians but he is not that broad you cannae understand him)
Needless to say I'll be there and may take some photo's so prepare to be bored by various picture of hotiron....hmmm i can smell the heady mixture of 2stroke and rubber bikes from the study (mind you i only live a mile from the course) ...Fantastic!
Oh and Bill as a dyed in the wool biker you might be interested in the fact that you can watch it on the BEEB - live streaming no less .... http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/nw200/watch/coverage.shtml
** Update ** Robert Dunlop died of his injuries this evening @ 22:20. He will be sadly missed but long remembered by the fans of those that race between "the hedges".