I was just wondering how well the motorbike road races held in Northern Ireland such as the Northwest 200 and the Isle of Man TT are generally known and what people think of them/the concept?
I always find it strange when people talk about how incredibly dangerous F1 racing is when its now a regular occurence for riders to break 200 mph on the main straight of the Northwest circuit on roads that are used by the general public for most of the year and the main physical concession to safety is strapping bales of hay to lampposts.
Its also a throwback to the old days of racing for the spectator, you can easily find a spot where you are seperated from the riders by only a barbed-wire fence, seeing twenty bikes roaring by at 170mph+ almost within touching distance is quite an experience.
People in Northern Ireland are quite proud of the road racing scene, something that continued non-stop even during the worst days of the Troubles, and would be sorely disappointed to see it banned.
I’m of the strong opinion that if someone wants to do something and they are aware of the risks then it is nobody else’s place to stop them. I simply cannot understand the mentality behind people who would wish to ban such an event, what exactly is it to them if other people want to risk their lives?
I nominated Joey Dunlop as the single person who could be presented to represent the whole of Northern Ireland in the Mt Rushmore UK thread. Possibly the best road-racer ever he was liked and respected by all parts of the community, I’ve literally never heard a single bad word about him, he was already a legend before being tragically killed in a race in Estonia in 2000 but not before taking his Isle of Man TT victory tally to a record 26. For his funeral over 50’000 people turned up and Northern Ireland came to a standstill as people watched it on TV.
Is he well known elsewhere?