I grew up in a house in the suburbs. It had a playroom in the basement with brown nylon carpet. There was a window, high up on the wall, which looked out to ground level. This created a pool of sunlight in a room that was otherwise a cool, concrete bunker against the summer heat. Idling there one day, I opened the encyclopedia to "Great Britain." It was illustrated with a map, though it was not detailed. Scattered across the map were a few pictures. Near London, Tower Bridge. A piper in a kilt served to illustrate Scotland. And there, in the sea between England and Ireland, was the Isle of Man. Superimposed on the Island was a picture of a racing motorcycle. I was a bookish child. Maybe, even at that age, I sensed I'd never succeed in sports under my own power. Maybe that's why, in my mind, I was already a motorcycle racer. It didn't matter that, until then, I'd never actually touched a motorcycle. If there was one thing I had, it was an imagination. I read and reread that entry in the encyclopedia, but there was no reference to motorcycle racing. I don't even think it mentioned the Island. But I knew that those images were not placed at random. Had the Island been known for nothing in particular, the cartographer would have gone with the tried-and-true "peasant girl in traditional dress"; that's what they always did. So I stared at that map with a dawning sense of awe. Here was a place--here must have been a place--defined by motorcycle racing.