The Isle of Man TT fortnight has to be the greatest motorcycle event on this planet – it’s where private and factory teams rub shoulders to see who’s the quickest in various classes over a real-life 60km circuit on the island off the north-west coast of England.The track is mostly a narrow country road used by cars, buses and farm tractors and has way more than 200 bends, the occasional hump-backed bridge, village squares, sewer grids, kerbs, hairpins, small wild animals and the famous and very fast mountain section.This week has been practice week – but from Saturday (May 31) it will be race week – no holds barred. Lightweight machines, sidecars, stock machines and once again an electric bike class (Zero), all showcased at arguably the greatest two-wheels event in the world.UNTOUCHED COURSEYou might be surprised to know that the IoM TT was first raced more than 100 years ago - 1907. The course then was only 18km and two races were run: one for single-cylinder and the other for twin-cylinder bikes. English rider Rem Fowler on a Norton (powered by a Peugeot engine) was the singles winner, Charlie Collier of Matchless fame won the twins class on his factory machine at an average speed of 61.152km/h.With a course that has remained largely untouched since 1911, the 60km of public roads captures the imagination like no other motorcycling venue. Whether it’s the tight and twisty roads through tree-lined glens, the ancient villages with their pubs, telephone poles and phone boxes, or the open spaces of the mountain tops, the TT course never ceases to amaze and astound.It remains the ultimate test of man and motor cycle - there have been more than 240 deaths, both racers and spectators.These are real roads. These are real heroes. This is real racing.Once again this year (2014) competitors have come from all over the world to race ‘The Island’. Some reports I’ve read suggest 75 000 two-wheel enthusiasts have invaded the place and will once again take up their vantage points around the circuit.I haven’t been to the island for a while but my favourite spectator spot is Parliament Square up at Ramsay where one can at least get a good look at the riders and their machines as they slow for the 90-degree bend to enter the town.Yes, there are lots of other great spots, but when the bikes whistle past at close to 320km/h you tend not to see much more than a blur!THE TOP RIDERSRiders to watch out for in the 2014 event are John McGuinness, the Morecambe UK rider who has 20 TT wins under his belt – along with 41 podium places. His fastest lap at last year’s TT was at an average of 210.67km/h.Hot on his exhausts are sure to be James Hillier, Ian Hutchinson (eight wins/15 podiums), Guy Martin and the Dunlop brothers, William and Michael , who share seven wins and 16 podium finishes. • For the record, their father the late Joey Dunlop holds the most TT wins (26), a feat that could be matched by McGuinness at this year’s races. Time will tell!FULL PROGRAMMEQualifying: Monday May 26 -Friday May 30Raceweek: Saturday, May 31TT Superbike Race, TT Sidecar Race 1Monday, June 2TT Supersport Race 1, TT Superstock RaceWednesday, June 4TT Zero Race, TT Supersport Race 2, TT Sidecar Race 2Friday, June 6Lightweight TT, Senior TT RaceAll times and dates are subject to confirmation and may be changed at very short notice.