Two Men, Two Mounts, Two Countries, Two Days

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The mission of SpeedTrackTales is not just to capture as a record the history of the people the bikes and places of the International Six Days Trial. It is also important we learn of, and reflect on the social and  cultural conditions of those times that contributed to both the development of the sport of Reliability Trials and its evolution to be renamed Enduro as well as the history of land access and the impact of the modernisation of highways and land management during the era. In many cases the sports happily co-existed with local people going about their own daily business.

The road twists and turns all over the place, and it seemed to be full of country folk shepherding home animals from Corwen market.

For this article reproduces an article written and published in the weekly ‘Motor Cycling‘ 28 November 1934. The article is a test of two models of Triumph the 5/5 and the Twin models for 1935. The test compromised of a tour around North Wales, but in particular it took in the classic roads in regular use by the ISDT and reliability trials of the time such as ‘the Reliance Trial’

Early on Wednesday morning we were skirting Bala Lake and heading for Hirnant Pass, en route for Lake Vyrnwy. The lane we traversed were shockingly surfaced. It was an endless procession of large culverts, cart ruts, slimy mud, rocks and everything else imaginable.

It is clear that by 1934 the area was very familiar to many in the Motorcycle industry as a place to both test Motorcycles and to undertake adventure tours by motorbike. It goes without saying to do this motorbikes were required to be reliable and handle well where road surface conditions were still poor. Places like the Bwlch y Groes, Eunant Pass and the Allt y Badi regularly feature in both test articles and event reports.

Long, gruelling climbs made no difference, either. Taking the Eunant Pass from Lake Vyrnwy,” we climbed another 1,000feet, which brought us out near the top of the famous Bwlch-y-Groes.

The article, coincided with the holding of the annual ‘Reliance Trial’ in the North East Wales area, the report for this event can be found here.

image - the artwork and images for the test taken on the Allt y Badi

image – the artwork and images for the test taken on the Allt y Badi (Courtesy Mortons Media Group)

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Restored ISDT classic – ex works Puch MC 175 ex ISDT 1973 appears on eBay

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I am pleased to be able to say another of the classic 1970’s European works two strokes has survived through into modern times. There were 15 of these bikes entered in the ISDT 1973, although in 1973 #89 Johann Sommerauer did not ride a 175 but is listed as being on a Puch 125cc, there were however 4 works Puch MC 175s on the Austrian Trophy Team although they did not enter a Vase team. The Puch Factory did not enter a team in 1973 although the Dutch and Belgians both had Puch teams in the Manufacturers award.

There was no Austrian Trophy team in the Camerino, Italy ISDT 1974 although there was a Vase, however the result sheet only names Trophy and Vase Team entrants with #100 D Pochlatko, #115 S Pacjernegg and #121 J Zotzek all rode Puch 175’s in 1974. This bike just has appeared on an eBay auction in Austria although listed as an ISDT bike of 1973, its registration document seems to indicate it may have been first registered on the road in 1974.

Johann Sommerauer was the only Austrian winner of a Gold Medal in the ISDT 1975 results entry number #278 in this event he is credited as riding a KTM 350.

Hopefully one of our readers will be able to throw some clarification on which bike this was and who rode it?

Photo - Johann Sommerauer's Works Puch MC 175 restored ex ISDT 1973

Photo – Johann Sommerauer’s Works Puch MC 175 restored ex ISDT 1973

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Powys Enduro at 40 years old 2014

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I have today been proud again to step into the shoes of the Clerk of the Course for the Powys Enduro which ran today for the 40th time since 1974. This event remains an almost unique classic unequalled in the UK Enduro Scene not just by its age but that it rides in one big 120 mile loop which features some of the greatest typical Enduro suited terrain that is found in Wales and possibly Europe. The event started back in the day of the ISDT and parts of it still follow or cross sections of the old route of past ISDT’s. Entry numbers are limited to the 180 max set by UK Law that controls Motor Sports events on highways and entries still sell out in a matter of days. Most of the UK’s great Enduro riders can trace this event as part of their early career and it still attracts many riders who keep this as one of the events they have to fit in a years calendar. Now sponsored by National Logistics company Cadwallader Limited a company whose directors regularly ride in the event and pick up trophies as well as medals. I hope this event can find a way to steer itself through the increasing constraints of legislative change to give future riders a chance to test their skill against often the worse that nature can throw at them.

Photo - A rider competing in the Powys Enduro crosses the road from Llanwrin to Machlwyd at Aberangell, part of the route past ISDT's took to reach the Bwlch y Groes which is a couple of miles away

Photo – A rider competing in the Powys Enduro crosses the road from Llanwrin to Mallwyd at Aberangell, part of the route past ISDT’s took to reach the Bwlch y Groes which is a couple of miles away

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ISDT 1974: Appeal for riders to contribute memories to a new book

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Photo - official event logo ISDT 1974

Photo – official event logo ISDT 1974

Our frequent contributor Brian Catt has sent this request – “Marcello Grigorov has just contacted me with the news that he is writing the book of the 1974 ISDT.  I didn’t go to that event, so have no real info on it, but am assisting with tuning the British entry list (current list attached for correction/addition).”

If you are or know of any of the riders of the event can you draw their attention to this appeal for information – thanks

British Riders listed below.

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Sid Wicken 1929 to 2014


It gives me much sadness to announce to the ISDT family of the loss of a popular member of the legion of six days riders.

Sid Wicken – Dad and Grandad – passed away 23/07/2014 in his sleep yesterday – may his Soul rest in peace.

Funeral at St Mary’s Kennardington Kent 12 noon with Crem at 1.20 after service at Charing Asford at 1.20pm

He is at peace now – aged 85 yrs – he had a wonderfull life and will be sadly missed by us all and those that knew him.

WE ARE THINKING OF YOU DAD.

Stephen

ISDT 1935: tracking down an old Triumph 500 reg BMX 621

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I have been slowly sifting through the images found over xmas on the Stilltime Collection website having built a database so I can collect all the details the images allow and then linking those facts to information we hold across the site on the people bikes and places.

The image below of a group of men taken around two of their motorbikes including a Matchless and Triumph with a UK Vehicle Registration MX 621 makes it is likely these are part of the British contingent at the event and has been identified as being taken at the ISDT 1935.

British riders with Matchless and Triumph 500 BMX 621 at ISDT 1935

British riders with Matchless and Triumph 500 BMX 621 at ISDT 1935

link to image at stilltimecollection.co.uk

Obviously all dedicated British ISDT enthusiasts and if anyone can help identify any of the persons in the photo we would be so grateful.

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ISDT 1939: event report in ‘the Motor Cycle’ 31st August 1939

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The 31 August issue of ‘the Motor Cycle’ carried a 12 page article on the ISDT that never was. Possibly heralded as being the best ISDT of all time, on paper the potential obsessive stage management by the German Nazi regime looking to impress foreign powers of its greatness could well have put on the best event ever. The grant finale of the event rather than a speed test was to be a scramble and surviving vide owe have seen shows it to be a quite remarkable event in its severity of technicl difficulty for the tie. However from arrival at the venue the event was beset with problems, firstly to all it appeared the Germans had been expecting the event not to happen at all, so preparations had been rushed and not complete. Despite a lot of man power being committed there were at times fuel shortages and the German officials tried modifying the traditional rules as the event progressed. The going on the other hand was not far off the most extreme the riders had ever seen, not just because of the Alpine setting in North Austria but also the extensive use of unmade tracks across pine forests that had in cases been cleared just for the event. The event withered for many competitors to a dead stop before the final day after Germany declared a pact with Russia that resulted in the division of Poland and was going to lead to the beginning of the second world war. Even though the Germans finished the six days it was a result devoid of competition and so after the end of the war the FIM annulled the results so the Trophies were never awarded.

photo - top left Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph) follows K Pogner (248 Puch) through a village typical of the area. Bottom left- Fuscher Törl, a check amid the summer snows high up the Grossglockner pass. Right - A loose narrow winding track where time is easily lost: Sgt JT Dalby (490 Norton) kust behind Forstner (490 BMW) ISDT 1939 ( Speedtracktales Archive)

photo – top left Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph) follows K Pogner (248 Puch) through a village typical of the area. Bottom left- Fuscher Törl, a check amid the summer snows high up the Grossglockner pass. Right – A loose narrow winding track where time is easily lost: Sgt JT Dalby (490 Norton) kust behind Forstner (490 BMW) ISDT 1939 ( Speedtracktales Archive)

read the full event report in ‘the Motor Cycle’ at our issuu.com library here

The greatest of all International Six Days Trials, that held in Germany last week, was virtually brought to an end last Friday. The cause, needless to state, was the European situation. In Salzburg information as to what was really happening was scrappy in the extreme. The German papers revealed little; those British papers available were two days old; wireless reception of the English news bulletins was next to hopeless.

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Bike number 31 The TV175 Alan Kimber Rallymaster Replica, as used in the 1961 ISDT

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Review of the 1962 Lambretta Rallymaster

The story of the Lambretta Rallymaster as used by Alan Kimber in the ISDT 1961

via Bike number 31 The TV175 Alan Kimber Rallymaster Replica, as used in the 1961 ISDT.

ISDT 1939: Closing report and the final sprint for the Border

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In the 7th September 1939 issue of the Motor Cycle, the editor of the magazine A. B. Bourne who had been in Germany covering the ISDT 1939 event published an article titles ‘My Week in Germany’ giving his impressions of the events that occurred shaping the history of this notorious sporting occaision.

See the original article in our issuu.com library here

My Week in Germany – A.B. Bourne – Editor the Motor Cycle

To review the International Six Days after all that was written in last Thursday’s issue would be superfluous. Everyone knows what happened and how on Friday, the fifth day, the British contingent withdrew from the trial, left Salzburg and hurried to the Swiss frontier and home.

Photo - Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph), chatting with Obergruppenfuhrer Kraus, president of the International Jury, at the check at the top of the Grossglockner. Miss Cottle made a magnificent performance in the trial ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo – Miss Marjorie Cottle (249 Triumph), chatting with Obergruppenfuhrer Kraus, president of the International Jury, at the check at the top of the Grossglockner. Miss Cottle made a magnificent performance in the trial ISDT 1939 (Speedtracktales Collection)

It is probably difficult for anyone not among the party to realise how cut off the British contingent was from knowledge of what was going on between the capitals of Europe. All at Salzburg sensed that there was a crisis, but how grave it was none knew. As we said in our description of the trial, the German papers revealed little, those British papers available were two days old, and wireless reception of the English news bulletins was next to hopeless.

Of course, there were many who started in the trial with little idea of what a modern International means. Somehow or other the impression that these trials are merely high-speed tours in glorious country still seems to exist. The facts are, as we have tried to convey in describing the event, that the modern trial as held in Germany is an Alpine Grand Prix with sections just about as bad as any included in British sporting trials.

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ISDT 1948: Event reports – ‘the Motor Cycle’

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Recently arrived at the Speedtracktales Checkpoint central was the two issues of ‘the Motor Cycle’ of 16th and 23rd September 1948 with a full report on the opening of the ISDT 1948, which was held at San Remo, Italy.

The British Trophy Team. Left to right: C.N. Rogers (346 Royal Enfield); Allan Jefferies (498 Triumph), captain; J Williams (499 Norton); B.H.M. Viney (498 AJS); Vic Brittain (346 Royal Enfield) ISDT 1948

The British Trophy Team. Left to right: C.N. Rogers (346 Royal Enfield); Allan Jefferies (498 Triumph), captain; J Williams (499 Norton); B.H.M. Viney (498 AJS); Vic Brittain (346 Royal Enfield) ISDT 1948

You can read both of the articles by following this link to our issuu.com library.

16th September 1948 – ‘the Motor Cycle

23rd September 1948 – ‘the Motor Cycle

The following summary of the event appeared in the editorial of ‘the Motor Cycle‘ 23rd September 1948

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