Another Week, Another Island and Another Guy on a Bike.

While my blog title is 100% accurate, the week, the island and the guys on the bikes couldn’t be more different.

After a winter of Minnesota hibernation, my race season began by shooting the Ironman Puerto Rico 70.3, a great place to start with a beautiful venue and many good friends. Two weeks later I was in Oceanside California for the 70.3, once again a great event, followed by Ironman Texas, the Get in Gear 10K in Minneapolis, yes I got to sleep in my own bed, then out to Ironman St. George 70.3 and home for the Medtronic Twin Cities 1 Mile.

Ironman Lanzarote was next. Lanzarote is in the Canary Islands and is a place like no other. Not unlike Kona, Lanzarote is a volcanic island. It is however more lava and much less vegetation.

Ironman Lanzarote 2017

At El Golfo about 29 KM into the bike course at Ironman Lanzarote

On Wednesday, after a very quick overnight in Dublin, I arrived on the Isle of Man. While not much different in size and population from Lanzarote, the Isle of Man is a speck in the Irish Sea between Ireland and England.

While in recent years, it has become know for off-shore banking, and of course Tour de France sprinter Mark Cavendish, aka the Manx Missile, the Isle of Man is the home of the World’s oldest and most dangerous motorcycle race and yes, I am here for race week.

Although I have been riding and shooting from the back of motorcycles since 2002, I have only owned one since 2011 and that began with a 70cc scooter.

From riding around on the scooter to enhancing my skills at the Zalusky Advanced Rider School and attending the California Superbike School, my fascination has not only been with riding but the visual and the movement of the machines, the colors and the speed.  As I begin my experience here, I am can visualize what I want to shoot, my hope is that I can execute.  Only time will tell. Time, patience and practice.

The normal island population is about 85,000, with the largest city being Douglas where about 30,000 Manx live. Over the next two weeks there will be 40,000 visitors, coming by air and by ferry.

I am pleased to have arrived a few days early to get a feel for the island, the village and the people, and have spent much of the time wandering around.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017

My first walk down to the Isle of Man Harbor.

For some reason, my Midwest accent makes me standout. At least so far that has been a good thing and I have made some great new friends. I have been able to connect with a local photo legend who was born on the IOM and Peter Bull was a wealth of advice and very friendly suggestions.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017

Des Conner and Peter Bull

I have had an offer of a course tour on Saturday and in the meantime I am checking out routes for the public transit system.

Although the Grandstand area is quiet now, by Saturday evening when the practice sessions begin, there will be a roar.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017

The IOMTT Grand Stand. Since this is a Road Race, there is normal traffic every day in passing by.

I also had a chance to be introduced and chat with Bruce Anstey, 11 time TT Champion.

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy - 2017

Bruce Anstey – getting things sorted out as his equipment arrives.

I will be posting more as Practice Week begins and throughout race week.

One more great adventure.

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