Week 44, 2008
STORY OF THE WEEK
The Winner of the Readers' Choice Story of the Week
Your Story "Miracle on the Isle of Man" has been chosen as the Winner of the Readers' Choice Story of the Week.
And you have been placed into the draw to Win a Holiday Around the World for 2.
|Last year I had the fortune to be able to attend the 100th year anniversary of the running of the Isle of Man motorcycle races, with my wife, Liz and a close friend, Greg.
After two weeks of spectating at races, rallies, museums, Greg and I were stationed on an embankment on the “mountain”. For those not familiar with the “IOM”, the races are held on the normal everyday roads and the course covers over 37 miles.
It is extremely exciting to watch and to ride, as there are serious hazards such as stone walls, houses, gateposts etc. all along the track, which is often narrower than a normal two lane road.
As I took up my position on the embankment, some 3 metres above the course, my guardian angel told me that I was not in a safe place, but if I stay alert, I did not need to move.
Several hours later, on the last lap as the last few riders were coming through, one of them glanced off a post on the inner side of the road, speared across to the other side, hit part of the embankment and headed straight for me still at over 160 kph. As I flattened myself to the ground, I could see that the machine was going to hit me anyway. But it didn’t. Somehow. But it did hit another spectator, a few feet beyond me and also my friend Greg. Both died as well as the rider. I still feel a little guilty that my miracle did not include the others.
Liz had gone to visit her family back in England several days beforehand and as she was boarding the ferry, she took a whole bunch of photos of Greg. A most unusual behaviour on her part. She must have known something was going to happen.
But there is another twist to the story. Both Greg and I were (are) long time enthusiasts for many similar things in the engineering field. We had spent several weeks touring in England and Ireland, visiting museums and factories and chanced upon a “one in the world” example of a rotary valve cylinder head and a small “one in the world” factory where advanced testing had been done. Also, we had visited the home of Joey Dunlop, who had been a famous motorbike racer and children’s philanthropist. Joey was like God to Greg. No. That isn’t right. Joey was better than God.
Two months before going on the trip, Greg had had open-heart surgery and the discovery of some serious cancer. His prospects were not brilliant, but neither were they totally dim. However they were dim enough that he knew that he had only one chance to do and see the things dearest to his heart, outside of his fiancée, Sonia and his two daughters.
He was killed at a corner on the Isle of Man race course named after Joey Dunlop. Holy Moses.
Murphys Creek, Queensland
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