The Isle of Man TT, or Tourist Trophy, is an annual two-week race event where riders often hit speeds of over 200 mph. It’s a dangerous road race designed for people with a passion for speed.
Racers spend years preparing for the race, watching countless hours of footage, constantly practicing and riding, and devoting all of their energy and willpower to the event. With hundreds of deaths since its inaugural race in 1907, the Isle of Man TT is well-known for its incredibly high stakes.
The New York Times recently released a video series centered around the race, and the extreme dedication and perseverance that it takes to succeed:
For newcomers Paul Jordan and Adam McLean, the rewards outweigh the costs. For both men, this isn’t simply a race: it is their life’s passion and their all-consuming goal.
“It’s the fastest, most physically demanding — it’s the toughest race in the world, as such. It’s the most dangerous as well,” McLean says of the TT.
Wrapped in the ever-present danger of the race is the will to win, the addictive flow of adrenaline, and the ever-present reality that it could all end in a single moment.
A man who arguably knows more about that than anyone else is Richard “Milky” Quayle, 4-time champion of the TT who almost lost his life during the race. Growing up on the Isle of Man taught Quayle the in’s and out’s of the TT course, but his inherent skill sets him apart.
After sustaining extensive injuries from a crash in the 2003 race, Quayle now focuses on training new racers, and helping them prepare for the challenge of a lifetime.
Quayle fills his time working two jobs, spending time with his family, and training up and coming riders, but still feels the pull of the TT.
“I think you always feel as if you had unfinished business,” says Quayle. “It’s one of those things that will always eat at me now, until my last day.”
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