As I write this, it’s TT Eve. That’s the Sunday before the Monday of Practice Week for those unfamiliar with an expression that I’ve just completely made up.
Except, of course, it’s not TT Eve, because there’s no TT about to dawn. For the second year running, the bikes have not arrived. We now have the dubious accolade of having more than one TT in a row cancelled, for the first time outside of a World War.
All being well, the pleasingly symmetrical TT22 (that’s going to look great in a logo) should break the curse and the bikes will be back next year. In the meantime – and some recent times have seemed very mean indeed – we’ve got a TT-shaped gap to fill.
While we can’t substitute some of the key aspects of the festival – the races and the crowds of lovely visitors being the two big things, some aspects of traditional life in the island in the first two weeks of June can be salvaged.
These ideas are strictly for the local crowd who are looking to recreate the carnival atmosphere that accompanies the TT. We do not recommend any very fast riding around the TT course this year. That will not be fun at all and may result in you receiving several Paddington Bear-style hard stares.
The food of the festival – the TT Tea, if you really must, can still be your sustenance of choice for the fortnight. Burgers, hot dogs, CCG, and rather a lot of fried onions. Preferably all served on a paper plate, and outdoors. Vitamins? Stocking up on those cheeky chaps is what the second half of June is designed for.
Where there’s food, there’s often drink. Now here at Gef, we treat our bodies like temples, and not just the crumbling and ancient variety, and would never encourage you to consume in excess of the recommended units of alcohol. But often in TT, some party animals carry on as if their number of units has stayed the same but the word ‘weekly’ has been cheekily scribbled out and replaced with ‘daily’. Whatever beverage you may be consuming – chamomile tea, Um Bongo, evaporated milk – and in whatever quantity you choose, pour it into a recyclable plastic beaker or neck it straight from the bottle. Once again, doing this activity outdoors is almost guaranteed to increase the TT-like sensation.
While it could be said that some people during TT can be quite intense, another way to keep the ethos of the event alive is to be in tents. Whether it’s a big one on Douglas Prom for supping refreshments and watching bands in or a smaller one on a campsite for sleeping in, a canvas construction is very TT. Ask the landowner’s permission before you whip out your mallet and groundsheet, then camp it up with aplomb. If you’re blessed with a garden, you can pitch a tent but still have access to your own toilet. The best of both worlds.
So, while it won’t be exactly the same, hopefully, you can have some TT-type fun this year to tide you over. TT22 (the more I type that abbreviation, the more I like it) is on track to bring back the vibes off TT in spectacular fashion.
Until then, Non-TT21 might be more like some bloke karaoke-ing Rockin’ All Over The World in your local, rather than The MIghty Quo reigning supreme at The Villa, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a whole heap of wholesome homespun fun.