söndag 20 november 2011

When it all started . . .

Imagine these riders excitement during the races when the sport was young - was it macho?

The bicycle oval tracks was often used in the begining but had too narrow corners and low degree of banking.

A phase bike starts up a bicycle. Probably was many of the phase bike riders later also riders at the motorcycle races due to their routine of the banking.
The first motorcycle track was made of wood and opened for racing in 1909 in Los Angeles. The so-called Los Angeles Coliseum was a little less than 1/3 of a mile (536 meters) in circumference, the motor bike tracks was however two times higher than the bicycle lanes that preceded it.

Special oval dromes was builted and almost immediately was the new motor sport a success - the show where men drove motorcycles at breakneck speeds on ovals of wood with passionate fans grew quickly, almost overnight establiched interest in what was motorized bicycles. Many other tracks were built in 1910. Track length increased from 1/3 of a mile (536 meters) to a full mile (1609 meters) in circumference, while the slope of the line was between 25 to 60 degrees in the turns.

The races were very popular and in the stands, it could be more than 15,000 spectators, this was noticed by many motorcycle manufacturers Exclesior, Henderson, Indian, and some smaller ones that Thor, Merkel and Pope. They saw these events as great marketing opportunities. Because of this grew motorcycle sport big already in the 20ies.

The spectators watched the race from the large gallery built around the track, the riders raced at speeds approaching 100 mph (160,9 km / h). The rivalry was fierce, not only between riders, but also by manufacturers.

The spectators was told to come "30 inch from death" when wathing these amazing machines. Accidents was common and there was many deaths among riders as well as spectators before the track was made safer and more  spectator friendly.

This movie was originally made for India distributors by the Czech Frantisek Marik. The original film was found under a bed of an old lady in Prague in 1995 and is restored and formatted for video in the famous Barrandov studio and edited by J. Powerful Luiz.

These guys will probably sue me if they find this video here - but life shall be a challange?

"Them who do not dare to die - do not dare to live either"

 I did now also find a more detailed and complete history on the same theme here: The Vintagent  Blog.

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