Ride It!: The Complete Book of Speedway by Cyril May lands on the |> SALE <| shelves in my shop.
J. H. Haynes & Co., 1976, Hardback.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs;
From the cover: Speedway racing is one of the last of the gladiator sports. Visualise a large stadium crammed with thousands of enthusiastic and tense spectators. Engines bark into life and four leather-clad, protected riders appear on the carpet of shale that forms the track. They sit astride their machines on the start line, and the public-address system, having boomed out competitor details, now goes quiet.
There is a savage threat in the starkness of the bikes. Speedway machines possess no brakes, not even a gearbox. Their power units are ferocious 500cc four-stroke motors, that gulp draughts of methanol fuel at six miles per gallon, and have a mulish 15:1 compression ratio, with an output of over 50bhp. Each machine weighs around 190 pounds and is, of course, terrifyingly accelerative.
As the Steward switches on the green light, the riders take fresh grip of their handlebars and poise themselves, their heads down. Suddenly the tapes fly up; clutch levers are immediately released, the immense power of their engines is let loose as it hurls each rider into mad battle, spraying the shale, broadsiding into the corners and sliding wildly, nudging elbows and perhaps legs; the spectacle sets the crowd alight. The race is well underway and now is the real test of the riders skill and courage now, also, they enjoy the results of the tiring hours they have spent modifying and fettling their roaring machines. Every eye focuses intently upon four laps of frantic racing; riders jockeying for positions and inevitably, a fighting finish.
The chequered flag comes down and the winner is rewarded with glory and prize money; to the tailender, nothing. This, essentially, is speedway racing. This is the sport which has been entertaining us for close on fifty years, and is so expertly analysed by Cyril May in the only book which justifies the title The Complete Book Of Speedway.
151 pages. 11″ x 8¼”.
This book will be listed, sooner or later, for £6.50 on my delightful website… (added to my Sport Motorcycling category.) but get 50% off buying from my blog… below…