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Tourist Trophy

A cache by Happy Humphrey adopted by twoofnine Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 5/27/2004
2.5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

To log the cache requires a circuit of the famous Isle of Man TT motor cycle course. All the clues can be spotted within a few yards of the car, so it's a good one in poor weather. The final cache requires a short scramble up a bank which could be a little slippery, and is in trees so the GPS signal could be variable - the hint should give enough help if you're struggling and will also confirm that your calculated position is close enough.

The Isle of Man TT is the world's most famous motorcycle road racing festival, and it takes place every year, at the end of May and the beginning of June.
This cache uses the Mountain Course (the TT racing track) for its full 37.75 mile distance from the TT Grandstand in Douglas, so it's a sort of "Virtual TT".
I'd expect you to take more than the 20 minutes or so per lap that the TT riders need! (In fact, the current outright lap record is 17 minutes, 3.567 seconds at an average speed of 132.701mph, by John McGuinness in the Senior TT in June 2015).

The clue is only useful if you're stuck once you've found all the photo sites.

Although a motor bike would be the ideal transport for this circuit, a car should not be a source of shame as the TT began as a motor car race in 1905. The choice of stops on the way round was influenced by the easy nearby parking (as the roads are quite busy), but they are all famous places on the course.

There are 12 photos below, all taken from various places around the TT course. Each photo has an associated number. Below the photos is a list of waypoints, in the correct order (i.e. in the order the TT riders pass them on a circuit). By sorting the photos into the correct order (by matching them to the waypoints) you'll get the missing coordinates of the cache, in the correct order:

5xº 00yºyy.yyy

It's best to start in the Douglas area: the coordinates in the cache heading are for the TT Grandstand. Please bring TT-related swaps if possible.

The notes are by the late Steve Hislop.

3 3 5 5
6 6 9 9
4 4 0 zero
9 9 0 zero
5 5 9 9
0 zero 4 4


Waypoint Position Notes Photo
TT01 N 54 09.670 W 4 30.405 Braddan Bridge
You have to treat Braddan Bridge with a lot of respect like Quarterbridge because it's quite slippy. They've resurfaced it, which has probably helped it, but until they did that it was getting really slippy. You'd draw yourself up, approaching it, you'd come back to 2nd gear. It's amazing how slow it is on the entry to Braddan. If you work hard on the 1st apex keeping your shoulder nicely in on the white railings on the left side, you should be basically in the middle of the parapet of the bridge. You should be cutting the white line into the right hander and then, the beauty is, you've got the little junction up to Kirby where you can use the whole area there at the junction and can feed the power on right through the apex and just drive it nicely out and flick around the end of the church wall and then go on up towards Snugborough.
TT02 N 54 12.148 W 4 37.719 Ballacraine
Over the old Ballagarraghyn and then the next thing I'm looking for, whether I'm on a big bike or a small bike, is the 2 big trees on the right hand side just before the Dairy at Ballacraine. I always brake at the trees and depending on what bike you're on you judge your braking and sometimes it's 2nd gear and sometimes it could be 3rd gear through there. On a proper 250cc you could set the gear box so fine that you could have a low 3rd gear so you might carry a lot of corner speed through there whereas a big bike it's quite tractable, it's got a broad spread, basically a road gear box in a super bike. You probably hook 2nd and just drive it through there in 2nd.
TT03 N 54 13.553 W 4 37.020 Glen Helen
On through 5th and 6th gear up towards Glen Helen. You just roll the throttle going around the very first part, let the bike glide out onto the right hand side of the road, hook back 2 gears around the tight part to give you loads of road around the tight parts so you miss that wall as you go in towards the car park area at Glen Helen. Hook back to 3rd gear just before you go into Glen Helen proper and then there's the long climb up the hill towards Sarah's and basically just hold 3rd up there.
TT04 N 54 15.639 W 4 34.902 Barregarrow
It's so bumpy on the approach to the 13th that you can't use the full natural racing line. You should really be along the left hand side braking, but the whole road has collapsed. You actually have to be in near the white line, so you're losing a lot of the natural racing line, but you're actually quicker! If you went along the natural racing line you'd be out of control! That's another thing about the T.T. - you can't always use what should be the natural racing line, you've got to think of the cambers and use them to your advantage.
TT05 N 54 17.594 W 4 34.647 Rhencullen
it's one of my favourite places. I tend to show off there a bit - I always have done! It gives me a personal buzz. You approach parallel with the kerb on the left, which sticks out a bit just as you approach the rise with the 30 signs and I usually just hook back. Some riders tend to keep the throttle wound on, then when they go over the rise, they shut the throttle. This tends to make the bike weave all the way through the right and then on through. They're in trouble right away. What I try to get through to young riders that I have taken round, or any newcomers, is although it seems that you have to scream your engine, it is best to actually shut the throttle, hook back a gear and drive it over the rise. If you shut a throttle on a motorcross bike, you know that before you go over a jump, give it some gas over the rise. The tendency is to get mega-big wheelies but over the years I've sort of perfected it. It gave me a buzz to actually do a wheelie there. You have ample time to drop it and it sets you up perfectly to throw it into the right, through the left, hook another gear just as you're going over the rise. Years ago, I used to make a big effort to turn in to the corner and you could get into all sorts of shapes as you went over the top. I only discovered a few years ago that you could just go straight over past the little cottage on the right. The wall was quite a way back down the hill, so you had plenty of road and it's so smooth. It took me years to learn! It's things like that you learn. Every year you ride, the course changes from bump to bump.
TT06 N 54 18.598 W 4 32.462 Ballaugh Bridge
In 1993, when I wasn't actually racing, I watched there one practice night. Some of the lads that were hooking back and driving it going in and on the way towards Ballaugh carrying a lot of speed. The likes of Joey, smooth as a die, whereas others had loaded up their bikes and were all wobbly and you could definitely hear the exhaust note a lower tone. As I say, all the way from Rhencullen to Ballaugh Bridge is just flat out. You hook back a little bit, but it's just for a split second. Those are the places where you can make up a lot of time. It's flat out to Ballaugh, hard braking. You basically treat it like a short-circuit hairpin, hard braking 5th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd and you're over. I try to slow the bike down and just pop over. I land on the front wheel at a minimal height which suits me. Nick Jefferies has a classic motorcross jumping style - I'm always frightened of landing and breaking the chain - I've seen it happen to Trevor Nation once on the Norton. I always think if you land smoothly on the front and get on the gas again, you carry more speed out towards Ballacriy because that is essential. Out of the village over the ripples, keep it driving on, round the right, past Gwen and on towards Ballacriy. I always give Gwen a wee kick, or a little wiggle of the foot or something, because you're hanging on too much to wave at her but she's always waving! The lady in white! She just lives for motorcycling. She loves motorbikes and she loves all the riders, she must be 60 or 70. She's out marshalling for every morning and evening practice. She always wears a white coat - she's world famous is Gwen....The lady in white.... Even back to the days of Agostini. If you're ever up there during T.T. week or Manx Grand Prix week and you're going past, you'll see loads of riders vans parked on the kerb. She'll have banners up and flags on her house and it is an open house basically. People like Bob Heath that have known her for years, they always pop in, cup of tea, cake - oh she's famous! She's one of the very few women that are allowed to the Manx Grand Prix dinner, you know how it's a "men only" thing, Gwen is always there.
TT07 N 54 18.962 W 4 30.754 Quarry Bends
On a little bike you'll hold it flat out around the first right hander but on a big bike I usually hook back a gear to steady it up. On a big bike you just drop a little bit on the brakes, because you're probably talking 130 to 140mph, hook it back to 5th and then drive it as hard as you can around the blind right, working really hard to get the bike away across to where the old road was, where there's a layby. I hook back another gear, really work hard at holding the kerb on the left as you go in, and then work hard on the left kerb to give you loads of room. You've probably hooked back into 5th gear by this time, around the little ivy covered wall there, around the right and you can nearly hook top gear as you go around the left. If you've got it right then you're carrying all that speed up the Sulby Straight. Quarry Bends is so fast you have to get it right and on a good big bike, you can hook into top gear - if not just exiting that last left, definitely before the little right flick as you suddenly come along. Then you've got a recently resurfaced section, then you've got the fast left and your on past the Sulby Glen and along the rest of the Straight.
TT08 N 54 19.327 W 4 23.175 Parliament Square
it's amazing how slow Parliament Square is. Again, it's a bit like Quarterbridge because of all the traffic using it normally, it's quite slippy there. You tend to actually want to lay it on its side, turn the hairpin really and then drive it hard out, but you can't because the road is so slippy. What you have to do is let the bike roll through the corner. You tend to struggle a little bit to get past Raymotors, there's a little flick there, but it's the safest bet to get through there because it is quite slippy.
TT09 N 54 18.019 W 4 23.697 Joey's Bend
You approach the Gooseneck fast. I never like the Gooseneck, because I'm always thinking I'm going to slide off there. I treat it with a lot of respect, because again to me, you've got all these lorries and cars coming down there and I always think it's so oily and it looks very very shiny. I tend to pick it up and run, although you'll see some riders just about scattering the spectators feet, but it's more on purpose than by accident. You tend to let it run. You pick the bike up, and as you're more upright, it tends to help you and then you can just nail it and get as much speed up around the 2 or 3 left handers up towards the 26th, which is a nasty little kink. You exit there and basically you're just hooking the grass at the start of the little layby there. You try and use as much road as possible just to keep the speed up towards Guthries - that's a nasty one, the 26th! On a 250cc you're really scratching through there, you dare not shut the throttle really. A lot of people say "Oh, so and so has crashed at the 26th" and some people think "How have they crashed there?" It's more so on little bikes, because they carry so much speed, and they just clip the edge of the bank and then it spits them across the other side of the road towards those horrible posts. You never really seem to build up a lot of speed even on a big bike. There are 3 lefts. Once you've pitched it into the middle of the lane on the very first one then you find yourself sitting bolt upright, braking nicely, to get up the left to Guthries.
TT10 N 54 15.080 W 4 27.801 The Bungalow
You cross the tramlines in the middle of the road and you're bolt upright. You just cut the Tholt-y-Will junction there, then hard away up the hill, 5th, 6th gear towards Brandywell. You're just starting to roll the throttle as you approach the right hander, hook back a gear and, if you've left it late enough, you can actually get yourself right down the right hand side of the fence. Hook back, it's 4th gear through Brandywell. There are a lot of yellow posts there and you actually use the very first yellow post to peel in. I don't know who painted them. There are quite a few markers in the road, if you go around the Isle of Man you'll start to notice them, yellow dots on trees and walls!
TT11 N 54 12.441 W 4 27.965 Creg ny Baa
Creg-ny-Baa is a corner you can get sucked into. You can try and be too brave on the brakes and you'd just end up in a mess! I usually wait until I'm just over the last of the ripples then I just roll the throttle, start to draw it up steady. It's better to be in smooth and drive hard out - as soon as you've pitched in to the actual tight corner you should be starting to feed it in, bolt upright away down towards Brandish. Along through the cutting which can be quite windy at times, you're probably doing 175 to 180mph through that right kink which is quite tight, you get through it and suddenly the road opens out you think "Phew!" and that's on every lap!
TT12 N 54 10.098 W 4 28.631 Start/Finish
You've got to watch Bedstead now with all the white lines in the road. There's a bit of a step off in the tar on the inside so you've got to stay out a bit and watch that. You can give it a bit of a squirt down towards The Nook, but then you're never really going to win a race down through the last section so it's gently through The Nook. You can squirt it a little bit towards Governor's and then just go gentle through Governor's because you've got to watch through the dip. If it's been wet or damp at all it never dries out and it can be really slippery. Even coming back up out onto Glencrutchery Road you've got to feather it because of the kick up onto Glencrutchery Road and then it's up through the gears and if you're on a flying lap get yourself ready for Bray Hill again!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Abg sne sebz gur Dhnegreoevqtr. Fubeg qvfgnapr bss gur pbhefr: cnexvat arneol. 5z sebz gur srapr ng gur gbc.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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