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Isle of Man Examiner
Tuesday May 28, 2002
John Gregory Staff Reporter

Mark Leaves His Job and His Home in Canada To Follow a Dream... To Race the TT.

Canadian film director Peter Riddihough has come to the island to make a documentary film about his fellow countryman, friend and TT newcomer, Mark Gardiner, who is fulfilling a dream by entering the event. Reporter John Gregory caught up with them to find out how the project came about.

"When this is all over at the end of the summer I will have no job, no money but I will have all the notes I need to write a great book."
Mark Gardiner, 46, seems remarkably calm for someone who has left his job and his home to ride in the world's greatest road race. But after competing in the 600 Production and Junior, that's exactly the position he will be in. He intends to write a book, called Riding Man, about the whole experience, while his friend, Peter, is making a film, One Man's Island.

"My ambition, my goal, is to finish (the races) really. I don't think of myself as a great motorcycle racer. I think of myself as a very ordinary rider who works much harder than ordinary." Mark's enthusiasm is second to none and he's dedicated his time to learning the unforgiving Mountain Circuit. "I want to be the best prepared newcomer there has ever been here." He moved to the island in January and was followed by Peter in April. The two met working in the advertising industry and when Mark decided to follow his lifelong ambition, Peter chose to get involved. They are currently sharing a house in Onchan.

Peter said: "I not actually trying to cover the whole TT. Other people will do a great job of that."
"My film tells the story of one man before, during and after the event, from his point of view. It's all about pursuing your dream."
He added: "It is a story with universal appeal."

 

Peter, 34, has directed commercials, music videos and short films. "I was looking for the next big opportunity and this was it," he said.
While Mark has written articles for American bike magazines and his adventures on the island will feature in the US magazine Motorcyclist, Peter doesn't come from a motorcycling background at all. He will stay in the island until June 15, and might return to film an epilogue, while Mark will be here until July. Mark said the scope of the book will be larger than the film and it will try to set the TT in its historical context and will talk about bikes and racing in a general way.

Both of them love the Island, with Mark saying riding the course has been "almost magical". Talking about the Island, he added: "It's as though I have come to my spiritual home."

"Everyone should have their own TT," he said, "Everyone should have a dream they aspire to. The book should really appeal to those people." It is hoped the film will be released on Canadian television in winter next year and will be distributed internationally.