The last week in May and first week in June for many years have been known to the biker community, and residents of a small island in the Irish Sea, for its motorcycle road-race known as the ‘TT’ or ‘Tourist Trophy’.
To those outside the biking community, and possibly many in it too, the two-week event held on public roads around the Isle of Man are seen as utterly insane. Racers reach speeds of OVER 200 miles per hour whilst houses, fences, kerbs, lamp posts are just a few feet away.
Far from the ‘relative’ safety of professional racing circuits that have run-off areas, soft-cell crash barriers and gravel traps to slow you down. It truly is a place only for the brave or completely mad to venture. But if you’re either of them and you want the ultimate adrenaline rush, you won’t be disappointed.
Drinkwater’s Bend – a place, NOT a medical condition
I was a biker for many years, and my Dad before me was also a biker too. But the Drinkwater connection with motorcycles goes back much further, and we even have a direct link to the TT through our family.
My dads uncle Reuben Drinkwater, actually raced in the early days of the Isle of Man TT and was tragically killed there in 1949. And in true honour of the respect that the TT shows to those that dare take on the challenge and pay the ultimate price, the point at which Ben was killed was given the name ‘Drinkwaters Bend‘.
Ben had his own family (wife and 3 children), although I have no idea what became of them as my Dad was not able to keep contact with them as he was growing up. The one thing I do know is the I’ve not heard the Drinkwater name in motorcycle racing since (although I’d like to be proven wrong, if anyone knows differently?).
I have not yet visited the Isle of Man for myself but have plans to go at some point, hopefully to both enjoy the racing event and pay respects to (my Great) Uncle Ben.
You can read more about Ben Drinkwater in this article which also features photographs of him.