The following blog is in two parts featuring two articles, one the editorial and the other jottings and commentary from the Motor Cycling journalist ‘Cyclops’ that appeared in the 13th July 1938 issue of ‘Motor Cycling‘ which covered the initial few days of the ISDT 1938 held in Llandrindod Wells which was the 20th edition of the event.
The initial article discusses the strategy of the British and German entries in the wildly different choice of bikes for the event, the benefits and disadvantages and ends reming the reader of the importance of winning the event for the British home motorcycle industry in supporting its export market.
Cyclops passes over a few of his anecdotal encounters and thoughts about the event and clearly indicates how in the inter-war years the ISDT held a prestige value in the world no less important than the Manx TT races
The International and the Weather
By the time these words appear in print the International Six Days’ Trial will be into its third day. Much may have happened by then, but it seems certain that the British climate will play an important part in the destination of the Trophy. Reports state that several portions of the route are waterlogged, and in consequence the going is very heavy. More rain will add to the floods; conversely, fine weather will probably make the mountain tracks tacky.
If this be true it raises an interesting point for discussion. In the belief that the Donington handicap favours small-capacity models. Germany has mounted her three solo riders on 175 c.c. supercharged two-strokes. Given dry roads, we would be inclined to consider her action a wise one. but if the Welsh tracks are heavy she may have cause to regret her decision, despite the slower speed schedule set for the “babies.”
Last year the trial was robbed of a great deal of its severity by badly placed time checks. which enabled riders to make up lost time over good roads after the more difficult sections. This year that fault has been eliminated, and it may be found that the checking system leans to the other extreme. In these circumstances Great Britain has mounted her solo members upon the ideal size of machine, light enough to be handled over rough going, yet large enough in capacity to withstand the week’s gruelling without loss of tune. The Czechs have taken a middle course in selecting models of 250c.c. for their solo riders, a type of machine considered by many to be ideal for the work in hand.
The results should prove most instructive if all teams get through “clean” to the final speedtest. It is impossible to overrate the importance of the trial from the angle of export trade. A glance at the list of entries discloses the fact that Sweden and Hungary have selected German machines for their Vase teams, whilst one of the Dutch teams is similarly mounted.
A convincing British victory is, therefore, of vital importance if Great Britain’s prestige is to be maintained in Continental markets.
Read this Motor Cycling report of the ISDT 1938 at our issuu.com library here
The Big Event
THE trial’s the thing, this week. All eyes (as we say) are onWales – and will be until Saturday. And how dramatic a finish, I wonder, shall we see at Donington this time?
A man who is a pretty sound judge said to me the other day that the “International” cuts more ice now than even the T.T. I think that an exaggeration – but the interest taken in the trial is certainly colossal and its results carry a lot of weight. For which reason let us hope our teams have all the luck. Europe, if not the world, is watching how they fare.
He Missed the Story!
IT has not always been like that. Years ago nobody botherd much about the “International” Really we were inclined to take more notice of the late-lamented. A-C.U. Six Days’. And I dare say many readers would now be hard put to it to say when the “International” started; actually the year was 1913, and Britain won.
Credit Where Due
THE rise in the importance of the “International” has been remarkable. And I wonder how much of it has been due to the efforts of one man; I mean, of course Peter Chamberlain. Ten years back there were people who thought Peter slightly potty on the subject of that event. But he put his ideas across and time has proved him right.
FRANKLY, I should like to have seen more Service teams in the field for the Huhnlein Trophy. Some Territorial units might well have had a crack at it, and could have put up a respectable performance. I know of one in particular where several of the fellows were hoping to be able to show the badge, but apparently the job could not be worked. Perhaps it was too much to hope for on this, the first occasion.
For Novices Only
I SUPPOSE quite a number of you who are over in Wales are following a big trial for the first time. For the benefit of such (and others can skip the paragraph) I feel prompted to offer a suggestion. That is, make it a definite rule never to ride “against the race,” round the wrong way of the course. And, for the love of Mike and wherever you are, give any competitor all the road. If necessary, put yourself literally in the ditch in order to do so. This advice ought to be unnecessary. But mistakes of this sort have been made before, and may be made again this week. In an ordinary weekend event they might not matter so much, but if you take the road in the “International” you have a big responsibility if you hold anybody up. And if you fail in this you are not going to be at all popular.