The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is helping an ambitious cyclist as he bids to set the World Record for fastest lap of the TT Mountain course on an electric bicycle.
Mat Dibb first thought of cycling the course when he visited the TT as a foot passenger with his mountain bike in 2013. He planned to return this year, but his plans were put in doubt when he started suffering kidney problems.
Although he is now awaiting a kidney transplant, Mat hasn’t been put off his ambition to ride the TT course. He has swapped his mountain bike for a special electric-powered bicycle, which assists with his reduced energy levels, and set himself a new goal – a World Record.
Mat had hoped to become the fastest person ever around the TT course on electric bicycle during the 2014 TT, but instead he has entered the Shoprite Cycle for Life, which takes place on 14th September, and will make his record bid then. The Steam Packet Company is helping by providing travel for Mat, his support team and their vehicle free of charge.
Mat said: ‘I visited the TT last year as a foot passenger with my mountain bike and spent the whole week spectating via some wonderful viewpoints accessible to me on my mountain bike.
‘I was instantly hooked, and re-booked immediately for 2014. Since then I have discovered that my kidneys are failing me, and I am hoping for a kidney transplant later this year.
‘As a result this year, I planned to visit on my electric-bike, rather than my mountain bike as my energy levels are somewhat depleted, and go for the record during the TT. We had to shelve those plans, but I am now focused on getting this record during the Shoprite Cycle for Life.
‘I’d like to thank the Steam Packet Company for their help, and everyone both on and off the Isle of Man who have supported me with this record bid. I hope I do you all proud on the day.’
The current official record is held by TT hero Conor Cummins, who completed the course in 2 hours 41 minutes on a Smart electric bicycle back in 2012. In addition to breaking the record, Mat will also be aiming to raise funds for the South West Thames Kidney Fund, whose care he is currently under.
Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Mat discovered the delights of exploring our beautiful Island by bicycle when he brought over his
mountain bike last year when travelling with the Steam Packet Company as a foot passenger.
‘That inspired him to try and set a new World Record around the TT course, and we’re really pleased to be able to help him as he takes on that ambitious challenge. We wish him all the best for his record attempt and for a speedy return to good health.’
From left: Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Sales Development Manager Brian Convery, Mat Dibb and Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Marketing and Online Manager Renee Caley