The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, or Isle of Man TT as it is better known, is a motorcycle race which takes place on the Manx island every year. It closes the island completely for six days as adrenaline junkies and motorbike enthusiasts line the streets and roads to watch those daring enough to take part.
A circuit of the island is 37 and a half miles long and motorcyclists reach a mind numbing average speed of 130mph on the windy roads and lanes lap takes just 18 minutes.
With such high speeds and such dangerous conditions on some of the narrow roads and bends, it’s hardly surprising that it has been dubbed the most dangerous race in the world. In its history of 110 years, the course has claimed the lives of over 250 bikers. That’s a very high figure that has been thankfully unrivalled by any other race in the world.
There are other dangerous races, but none come close to the TT. These other races are real tests of skill, endurance and perseverance and are certainly not for the faint of heart.
Formerly the Paris-Dakar rally, this 6,000 mile trip over desert, dirt and rocks is as tough as it gets. It is not only a race for motorcyclists and trucks and SUVs can also take part. The real challenge is the lack of an actual official course. Even the best of riders can struggle with the tough physical terrain and 49 have died during the race since its inception in 1978. There have been casualties and fatalities among spectators and emergency service staff too, as well as damage to non-race vehicles and livestock.
This off road race in California is also open to all kinds of vehicle, including motorcycles. It’s a race over rocky terrain with unforgiving bends and turns and is fraught with danger, not least because spectators and competitors have been said to attempt to sabotage other drivers on it. Kurt Caselli, an off road racer with plenty of experience having won two stages of the Dakar Rally, was killed in a crash on this course in 2013 having hit an animal, which proves that even the best aren’t immune from the perils of racing.
Some people have a real thirst for adrenaline and the kudos from their peers is another factor which drives people to compete. It’s exciting to watch too and hopefully there will one day be no fatalities in these races.