THERE is nothing on Earth quite like the Isle of Man TT Races. No other motorcycle race is held on such a challenging track as the 37-mile plus Mountain Course with its seemingly never-ending series of bends, bumps, jumps, stone walls, manhole covers and telegraph poles, and for one Pant man the immense skill, bravery and concentration levels required of each motorcyclist has become an obsession.
Grenville Wilde, pictured, has been making the ferry crossing for the past 40 years to watch the no ordinary mortals that are road racers tear past him at speeds approaching 200mph.
The rewards for winning on the famous course are like no other, but 73-year-old Grenville had his own thrilling moment this week when he purchased a book on the TT Races from a store in Oswestry only to find a picture of himself featured.
The book, Road Racers - a tribute to icons of the sport who, locked in a life-and-death battle every time they race, reach extraordinary speeds in a desperate bid to win – shows a photograph of Grenville sitting opposite a grocery store in the tiny village of Kirk Michael.
He said: “I was really pleased to see myself in the book.
“I bought the Road Racer from a shop in Oswestry and was flicking through the pages when I saw myself in my usual spot. I have been going there for 40 years and it is amazing.
“Where I sit some of the bikes reach speeds of up to 190mph, but it is the excitement and the danger that makes it so great. I sit next to a wall, so if I see a bike wobbling I quickly get myself back against it,” he added.
Mr Wilde first visited the Isle of Man as a 16-year-old and instantly fell in love with the race.
“Most days I will be out there from 9am until 8pm,” he continued.
“I’m quite well-known in the village, I have made lots of friends through going there for so long and we all meet up every year.”
Grenville is heading to the 107th race this year, which takes place from May 24 until June 6, and will spend two weeks watching the bikes race around 37 miles of closed roads.