First Person: Tori Sorby - Manx resident

Mum of two Tori has lived on the Isle of Man for nearly all her life. This is her view on the TT that comes to her homeland once a year

AS OUR ISLAND is invaded by leather and metal every summer, most of the residents are thrown into a state of near panic. Some escape to faraway places, renting out their pads to pay for their trip. But not me. I'm here for the duration and the build-up, not the main event, is the best part. 

We watched some of the racing this year, although my eldest son wasn't so keen on the classic bikes, a bit too LOUD. The best thing is seeing the riders just off the boat heading out to their various hotels loaded up with panniers and rucksacks. You can sense their elation at being here on the island and you can't help feeling excited for them as well.

 I drive an Audi RS4. It's a really fun car but hard to drive slowly, a feat which becomes impossible when bikes are flying past you in all directions and you're on the mountain section. You get swept along and the next thing you know you're in a race and sometimes, due to superior road knowledge, you win. It's always a shock for them to find me at the wheel, a chick, with my kids in the back! Not that I'd ever be unsafe, of course. But sometimes a girl has to cut loose.  

Walking back from Laxey village the other day I was stunned to see bikes going very slowly. The reason for this bizarre behaviour soon became apparent when I spotted three members of the local  constabulary, one with a speed camera in hand. I'm not confident in their chance of snaring any offenders - the riders here give each other plenty of warning signals. The Manx Transport Police did try more sophisticated methods once but the locals sabotaged any attempt at putting up permanent equipment. 

TT for me has not always been so sedate. I grew up next door to the Grandstand, which made involvement pretty inevitable. I usually managed to con my way into the VIP parties (very underage). Ian Lougher used to stay with friends across the street so getting laps on his bike was never a problem. I think he's got even faster since then. And aged just 15 I went round the course on the back with Joey Dunlop.

This year, the 100th TT, will see the Island more than double in population. The supermarkets can't keep their shelves full and Tesco won't be delivering groceries for two weeks! It's a bloody disaster.The other day we had nothing but baked beans for dinner and now the nanny is too scared to drive from Santon to Laxey as the roads are so hectic. I'll be on my own for a fortnight with the kids. I still brave the pavements with my pushchair but let's just say I'm currently spending more time at home than usual. Yesterday three German bikers decided to try their luck down a steep and hardly-used road which runs over the tram lines to the beach. I wasn't expecting that. Thank God they all stopped while I herded my flock together.  

Bikers are a funny bunch. Even though the weather has been lovely at times they seem to prefer to wear leather head-to-toe regardless of the rising temperatures. And they do like their camping - even the local Laxey football club manager has relented this year and allowed 100 tents on his pitch, for a sum.

After the races are over it will be nice to have the Island back to being a peace haven, at least then I can get my shopping done and go to the local restaurant without having to wait in line. But I think the sacrifices are small considering the magnitude of this event and even though at times the TT can be annoying if you live here, it's always quite sad when it's over.

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