Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Nice Day Of Rest...

...To get prepared for a long week of riding.

 I want to thank Stillie for posting on my behalf yesterday. The internet situation is a bit strange here. Practice went well yesterday. I just went out, rode around at a very relaxed/safe pace, and just goofed off a bit. I was a bit surprised by my lap times, and I am no longer worried about qualifying. A 113 mph lap should be fairly easy. Hopefully I can get that knocked out tomorrow. As far as being the fastest newcomer goes, I have no idea if it will work out that way or not, but we'll sure give it a go. I believe I was the 3rd fastest newcomer yesterday so that's a really good start.

I spoke with Bruce Anstey today and asked him about how things went for him yesterday. He said he had a bit of a moment in the Ginger Hall section of the course. That is by far the roughest section of the course, and like most places here it's 6th gear flat out. He said he had a tankslapper that was so bad it ripped the steering damper mount off the bike. That's sounds pretty intense. 

Today was very relaxing. We haven't done much at all today really. I went for a lap with my teammate Craig Atkinson, and Robbie the team owner. It was very helpful and I think I'm ready for tomorrow. I'm gonna get to bed early today and try to catch up on the sleep I've been missing over the last few days. Tomorrow is the start of a full week of practice, so I'l report then and let you know how it works out.


First photos of Jimmy in action are now on the net.

Thanks to Shaun Harris for posting the link to the WERA forum!

I'm going to follow internet protocol here so as not to step on toes of photographers I don't know. I would love to post this photo in Jimmy's gallery but I don't want to run into any problems with copyrights or fail to draw attention to the photographer's site.

So without further delay, the man in action during Saturday's practice.

Edit - 6:06pm EST
Travis rounded up some support on the IOM forum. Thanks guys!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First practice session is in the books

Hello all,

I'm posting for Jimmy because he's temporarily lost his internet connection. I conducted a brief interview via phone and Marie took notes since Fairfax County PD frowns on driving and writing. Now I'm going to quickly throw together a blog since she is dragging me out the door for dinner.

Jimmy's best average speed was 106.1mph which resulted in a 21:20 laptime. He really feels that he was one of the faster newcomers today and found that those weeks of interrupting my favorite TV shows with PS2 training have really paid off. Newcomers are required to turn a sub 2o minute lap with an 113mph average speed in order to qualify for the TT. It can be done in any practice session and Jimmy feels that it could happen as early as the next practice session on Monday.

One thing I found interesting is that newcomers are led around on a marshalled lap the first time out. According to Jimmy the entire thing is similar to following control riders around at a track day. Jimmy was stuck behind someone who hadn't done their homework and knew very little about the course and eventually lost contact with the control rider because no passing is allowed. He had hoped to use that session to learn a few things along that first lap but it wasn't to be.

There's a mandatory pitstop required after the first lap so Jimmy took that opportunity to make a few adjustments to the bike because the handling was very harsh. The settings were spot on and the different was like night and day. Now he's very excited about the bike's capabilities and the fact that it's an absolute BEAST. Jimmy feels like they need to drop another tooth off the rear sprocket to smooth it out a bit and give him a bit more top end. He felt like he was reaching for 7th gear in some spots and needs a bit more.

On another note, Scott Jensen had a rough opening day today. Jimmy was at the hospital with him when we talked. Nothing serious, just precautions taken for the rider's safety. Just x-rays and being held overnight for observation. Scott had an issue at the Union Mills section of the course and the bike ended up hitting the wall. His 1000 was apparently broken in half but they plan to get him on another liter bike next week. He's also got his 600 over there as well.

So there's the first day. I'm getting the stinkeye here so I better get rolling. I'd hate to have to sleep on the couch because of Jimmy V.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Official Sign On Day

So I am now officially signed on and ready to ride! The day started out fairly laid back as usual. Scott and I made our way to the paddock area around 9:00am, and we went straight to meet up with our teams. The team I'm riding with is VRS Performance. After the shipping of the bikes fell through completely, I had several different people on the island refer me to Robbie Silvester. Robbie owns VRS Performance, and together we were able to work out a deal on renting bikes so I could still ride the TT. After spending the day with the team, I'm pretty happy about how things turned out. They have a really nice rig, with a huge canopy, lots of tools, and some very well prepared bikes. In fact, the ZX-10 that I'll be riding finished 2nd at Olivers Mount this year. for those that haven't seen Olivers Mount, here is a short video clip.  It's pretty crazy!

After meeting with the team for a short bit, I made my way to the airport to pick up Garry. Garry Hayes flew on to the island this morning, and all I have to say is... That guy is a MACHINE! After flying in from detroit and getting zero sleep, he just jumped right in and started getting the ZX-10 set up for me. He and the team worked on the bikes most of the day. I went through the official signing on in the early afternoon, and after that I just kind of hung around the paddock area for the rest of the day. Scott and I were lucky enough to get a good lap in with Richard "Milky" Quayle in his wife's Honda Civic Type R. We were buzzing around the mountain section of the course at 120mph and Scott and I just couldn't stop laughing. It was an absolute blast!  Everything is looking good, and after that amazing lap in the car with Milky, I feel I'm about ready to get out there and give it a go.

Now I'm just gonna get some rest and hope that all those hours of watching onboard videos and playing video games pays off tomorrow. I look forward to updating everyone on how things go tomorrow evening, so stay tuned!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Got A Sweet New Towel...

My day today started off similar to yesterday in that I had to use a t-shirt as a substitute for a towel. We got through that ok, then it was back to business as usual. Scott and I grabbed Moffitt's car and went out for a lap of the course. We were able to stop at a store and actually purchase a towel as well!!! How exciting! We are both getting more comfortable with the course and are very ready to ride. 

I can't stress enough about how cool everyone here has been. I ran into Bruce Anstey in Douglas today, and he offered up a small motorbike for me to get around on. I thought that was very cool of him seeing as how he doesn't know me from anybody, and has such a high profile at the TT. I also got to meet Robbie Silvester, and Shaun Harris today. Robbie owns the team I'm going to be riding for over the next two weeks. It looks very professional and very well run. My teammate seems super laid back, and is very fast around this place. It will be great to just soak up all the information everyone has to offer. 

That's about it for today. It was very laid back. Things will begin to pick up tomorrow when we actually get signed in for the races and start setting the bikes up for Saturday. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow because I know that it's gonna start off with a towel! 

Some notes from the REMF..

REMF is an acronym used by the US Army to describe the rear echelon or soldiers left behind in support roles as others deploy to the fight.

Hello All,

I hope you all had a safe and joyous Memorial Day weekend (US visitors). I just wanted to take a few minutes and send out some support effort updates. As you can see, Jimmy is now overseas ready to take care of business for the U.S.A. Now I’m sure some of you might be wondering “What happens if I send a check to Jimmy right now?” Well rest assured that your donation will be handled quickly and safely! Jimmy left several deposit slips with me and my girlfriend Marie to ensure that all donations are quickly and securely.

I’d like to send out a special thank you to Marie who has really thrown herself into the TT effort. She’s been a tremendous asset to the growing number of people who are generously donating their time. She joins the local “team” of Ben Stockdale and Marc Berte, two long time friends and club racers. Ben and Marc have already given countless hours as well as generous donations, graphic design, shipping and customs research, and even dropping Jimmy off for his flight to the Isle. Marc will be heading over to enjoy the TT along with a group from in the next few days.

I installed a Google Analytics urchin into the site a few days ago to get an idea of the traffic we’re receiving. Basically an urchin is a tool used by web developers to obtain information from their visitors such as country of origin, number of visits, unique visitors, and a bunch of other boring *web stuff. I was quite surprised by the number of overseas visitors we have including 20 from the Isle. We appreciate your patronage and hope you’ll continue to follow Jimmy as his story unfolds here.

I’ve uploaded a PDF document that shows a map overlay of our visitors. It's being hosted on my own site where it is available for download. You’ll need a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader or FoxIt PDF Viewer to open it.

Click here to view the PDF

As always I’ll close by once again saying “Thank you” for all of the donations and support! I’ll post an updated donation total soon! Jimmy is also keeping a personal log of everyone who donated and the amount thrown in to the effort. We’re really amazed at how quickly each donation adds up and I think you will be too.


*No personal information is collected by this tool.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Don't Forget To Bring A Towel!!!

Sooo... I went to shower this morning only to find out that we must supply our own towels... Whoops. I used a t-shirt instead, so all was well...kinda. Now, you would've thought that I would make it a point to go buy one today, but by the time we got around to it, all the shops were closed. Oh well, it looks like the t-shirt thing will have to work for one more day.

 Today was a very relaxed day which was definitely what I needed. Scott and I had lunch with the guy that is running the Norton race team. Like everyone else we've met so far, he was really nice and very laid back. Everyone here has the same attitude towards the newcomers. They are all very enthusiastic about us, and at the same time are making it very clear that there are no expectations for any of us. Everyone says to just ride around, have fun, and don't worry about going quick till next year. We also ran into Steve Plater. For those of you that don't know, he is one of the few people to have actually won a TT in his second year on the island. He is definitely a world caliber rider. He welcomed us and asked if it was out first time to the TT. When we replied with a yes, all he said was "F*ck!". It sounds like this place is absolutely insane your first time around at speed.

Anyway, things are good for now. I have a feeling that things will begin to pick up and be a bit hectic in the next few days, but I also can't wait for everything to start. I'll update again tomorrow, and hopefully I'll have a story that involves me going to buy an actual towel! 


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finally On The Island...

And so it begins... I flew out of Dulles last night and had a fairly nice flight into Dublin. The only problem was a young child, maybe 4-5ish, that was acting up pretty much non-stop. I found it somewhat interesting, and a bit amazing that the parents seemed to be the only ones on the plane that could sleep through that nonsense. To each their own I guess. I had a short layover in Dublin then flew straight to the Isle of Man. Words can't describe how happy I was to finally land on the island and no longer have anything to stress about. If something didn't get done by now, it's not going to get done so there's no point in worrying about it.

Once I arrived on the island I took a taxi to the house that has been set up for the American newcomers to stay.  The taxi dropped my bags and took off. Neither Critter nor Scott Jensen were there when I arrived, so I dropped my bags behind the house and was ready to start wandering around Douglas like a lost American tourist. I didn't mind too much since I'm here for the experience, and I feel like that's just another part of it. It didn't take long before I was able to get in touch with Milky and he came and picked me up. We headed to the grandstand area where I got hooked up with Ian Moffitt. Moffitt is a real stand up guy, and like most people on the island, is here to help us get sorted. From there, Moffitt and I met up with Scott and Critter, and we've just spent the day wandering around. Moffitt let us take his car for a bit so we could get in a few laps. It didn't take long for the lack of sleep on the plane to catch up with me. I had the guys drop me off at the house and I ended up sleeping for about 5 hours. I woke up not too long ago, but I now need to try to get back to sleep so I can be on the same schedule as the rest of the island.

Once again, I want to thank everyone for their support. I couldn't have made this happen without everyone stepping in and helping with all the last minute chaos. From here on out I can just focus on riding, and that should be a petty good time!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We're Almost There!

Unfortunately it looks like the customs paperwork was going to be a bit of an issue, so I was advised by the guys on the island to scrap the shipping in fear of the bikes not making it in time. They have started sorting out options for leasing bikes on the island, and cost wise, it looks to be about what it was going to take to get my bikes shipped over.

It's been very hectic and stressful ever since the main sponsor dropped the ball, but some positive things have come from it. I really want to thank the entire motorcycle community, as well as friends and family for helping pick that ball up and run with it! it looks as though my dream of competing in the TT will finally happen, and it will have happened with the support of every one of you behind me! Words cannot express how awesome it has been to see everyone pull together and make this happen!

Once again, I can't thank everybody enough for the amazing amount of support and generosity you have all shown. I look forward to competing to the best of my ability, and I hope to represent the USA well!

Monday, May 18, 2009


We need help getting the bikes to the Isle of Man or at least the UK. The bikes are currently in Kentucky but can be quickly moved to a busier port on the East Coast if necessary.

DHL/FEDEX - both refuse shipping or charge astronomical amounts for anyone who does not have an active Business Account. Please contact us immediately at if you have a shipping contact or would be willing to let us piggyback on your shipping account.

For all of our sponsors and supporters, your donations will not go in vain. Jimmy is currently looking at the option of leasing a bike on the Isle for race week should shipping fail.

Thank you for all for everything you've done so far!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Getting there....

Well everyone, progress is progress. I just wanted to take a moment and update you guys on what's been going on. Jimmy has secured shipping and is in the final stages of hammering out all the details. A contact on the Isle has been absolutely invaluable in procuring shipment of bikes to and from the island. We're just waiting on final date and time for shipment along with a cost.

As for the bikes themselves...Have a look! Below you'll see the gorgeous Triumph 675 prepared by awaiting a crate and the familiar TVR131 being safely tucked away for its journey east.

We're getting there peeps! Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First Day Total

At the end of the first day we've amassed a total of $2,270.00 in hand with more on the way in the form of personal checks and money orders. We're absolutely in awe at the outpouring of support from our friends and family along with the extended family in the racing and motorcycle community.

Jimmy estimates that he will need a total of $7,000 to cover the costs of the trip, not counting his plane tickets. That means we're off to a flying start just 12 hours into this endeavor. Thank you all for your continued support and donations.


Asking for help....

James “JimmyV” Vanderhaar has been accepted into the 2009 IOM where he plans to contest 5 classes. The title sponsor just cut their commitment 4 days prior to shipping. Now Jimmy is being forced to use every available resource he can to include reaching out to the great interwebs. We are asking for monetary donations of any amount. It doesn’t matter if its $5 or $500, every bit helps.

Those of us who race know the speed at which things change all too well. Parts orders run late, bike issues lead to last minute rebuilds, and car troubles leave us searching for a ride. However none of us have had things change so quickly with such an impact such a stage. So that is why an SOS call is being put out.

Unfortunately the only thing you can be promised in return is the satisfaction of knowing your funds DIRECTLY contributed to someone’s participation in one of the greatest roadracing events in the world. You will know that your funds are directly responsible for Jimmy’s presence if you see him on the TT coverage or in the articles that follow. Imagine being able to say “Hey I helped put that bike there!” if you’re out at a bar and TT highlights are being shown.

Rest assured that Jimmy will be racing and your money will not just go into pockets. An anonymous source has agreed to provide a short term loan so these funds are going towards tires, meals, other necessary racing items, as well as repaying the loan. EVERY dime will be spent on this effort, nothing pocketed.

We are accepting donations in the form of cash, money orders, and personal checks. Send us an email at if you have any questions regarding donations. The same email is tied to our Vanderhaar Racing Paypal account and can be used for donations via that source.

We greatly appreciate all of your donations and look forward to representing you and this great country on one of the world’s biggest stages.

Stefan “Stillie”Still

Welcome to JimmyV does the TT

Hello and welcome! This is an online record of Jimmy's ride into Isle of Man history. Please check back often for more updates and ways you can help Jimmy acheive his dream!

Stefan "Stillie" Still
JMVTT Webmaster