Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More Craigslist Gold!

Another great Craigslist find-a 1920s British-made board track racing motorcycle frame! Tank and wheel are not correct, but look at that springer front end! No price listed, and I'm afraid if I call I'll buy the damned thing.

Back in the early part of the 20th Century, velodromes (cycling tracks) dotted the landscape, and cycling was a much more popular sport than it is today, save for, say, Europe. It was only a matter of time until these tracks would become the domain of motorcycles (having evolved from bicycles anyway). Speeds above 100mph were recorded, and the racing was extremely dangerous. The bikes were started by pulling them with another motorcycle-they were geared so high there was really no other way to start them. Once rolling, the rider relied on his body language to steer and control the bike, as it was balls-to-wall at full throttle with NO BRAKES.

As a result, accidents were common, as were deaths, not only of riders but of spectators. Multiple-death accidents eventually spelled the end for the 'dromes, and many were dismantled as other forms of track racing became the norm.

The only photos of a board track race known to exist-photos courtesy of www.daheim.com

I look at this frame and I can't imagine doing 100 on a board track with it-100 on my Magna is scary enough WITH brakes...


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