- Tuesday, 26 June 2012
A couple of thrill-seeking pensioners have swapped their bus passes for a motorbike and sidecar - to become the oldest competitors in the Isle of Man TT races.
Adrenaline junkies Robin Daykin, 74, and wife Annette, 62, wanted to live life to the full after retiring. So they sold some land and invested the cash in a Royal Enfield motorbike to compete in bike races around Europe.
But now the daredevil racers have decided their classic bike isn’t quick enough and have splashed out on a super-powered 600CC Yamaha Thundercat and sidecar. They plan to compete in next month’s Isle of Man TT race under the name ‘Team Past It’ - with the duo the oldest entrants in the famous-but-deadly event.
Annette, from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, said: “Neither of us wanted a quiet life. This is our time to go out and have fun.”
But Robin’s retirement has been far from plain-sailing, when the pensioner was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. He also broke his neck in a 90mph smash 12 months later - with Annette emerging from the accident unscathed.
Robin said: “The crash was due to a brake failure. I went to press the pedal and it wasn’t there, it had shredded off.
“If I had tried to turn the bike, I would have flipped it, so we just had to go straight off the track into the barrier. “In that fraction of a second you are looking for a way out, but there was just nowhere to go.
“It’s quite funny because poor Annette was thrown out of the sidecar, but everyone just ignored her and attended to me.”
“But despite all the pain, it’s safe to say my fortunes really turned around. 12 weeks later, I had fully recovered from both the prostate cancer and the broken neck. It all just slotted into place.”
Robin first competed in sidecar racing at the Manx Grand Prix mountain circuit in 1957, aged 20.
They are gearing up to battle against some of the world’s fastest drivers at next month’s TT races in the Isle of Man. Annette added: “We’ve been training as much as we can, but it really depends on the weather on how we do.”
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