Monday, 25 August 2008


Twiddling thumbs time in the Isle of Man. I ought to be commentating on the first races of the Manx Grand Prix right now. Instead, I am hanging around waiting for bad weather to improve in the hope that we can get some action later in the day. Fingers crossed. That's if it is possible to cross your fingers while twiddling your thumbs.
The other day I met a man with no ankle. Alan Jackson is a very fast motorbike rider who holds the lap record for the Manx at over 122mph. Two years ago he crashed at high speed and smashed his legs up pretty badly. He hasn't fully recovered yet but he was passed fit to race in May, despite having his left foot bolted to the end of his leg without the usual convenience of an ankle joint. The left leg is an inch shorter than the right, and the right leg is due to be operated on soon. In the meantime he is scheduled to race around this dangerous course yet again on Wednesday and Friday, in the Junior and Senior events. He can't wait. Neither can another competitor, Steve Ferguson, who crashed last year, broke his back in 10 places, broke his ribs, and went home with his collar bone at a funny angle. He was riding again before Christmas and he's back here, ready to race again. Brave or mad? I'm not sure if the dividing line between the two is visible.

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