The thrill of classic six day machines is catching and so the FIM have for 2016 decided to hold an inaugural vintage trophy event for Enduro.More details will be available here
After picking up the task of restoring Taff’s old website Speedtracktales back in May 2012 from a cd of memories to its former glory, many areas of the story it told opened my eyes and dispelled a belief that our daily life was evidence that we had advanced as a society, it became clear we have in some ways stagnated or gone back in time by comparison to opportunities taken for granted in the past.
I was particularly inspired in reading and rediscovering the feats of the ACU ‘Ladies’, a fearless but quite civilised corp of women who took their place in Motorcycle racing as equals, although a minority. The history of Motorcycle sport that I have participated in has depended heavily on the willingness of wives, girlfriends and mothers to put in a great effort but sometimes felt that role was not properly recognised nor the many women racers adequately covered. This gave rise to an article I wrote about the many Women at the ISDT who were led by presence of the very strong character of Marjorie Cottle who featured in her own article, a great niece of whose recently visited this site giving much pleasure. Although towards the end of the ISDT women had all but disappeared, there has been a renaissance of recent years in world enduro and so much so there is a women’s team prize in the ISDE. My hope is the sport will get more competitive and more popular possibly as young women introduced into the sport through action & gravity sports, such as MTB downhill, find that they can transfer those skills to a motorcycle as Wales based international Downhill racer Fionn Griffiths has being doing in both British and European Enduro events riding for KTM.
It came as a great pleasure when browsing recent FIM publications to see their ‘Women in Motorcycling Newsletter‘ which in issue 3 of 2013 featured a fantastic article on Marjorie, who remains a modern inspiration and, just like the often overlooked 20’s English travel writer Freyer Stark, her life is long overdue a Hollywood / Elstree Biopic feature film. I am please also to note that the FIM credits Speedtracktales as the source of their article. Its great to be paying back our gratitude to the FIM for the help they have given scanning their archive of ISDT results for our use.
It’s always extra special when an email brings in some news of bygone ISDT events that took place in Wales and today our European correspondent sent the official ACU results and stewards report for the 24th ISDT which was held in Llandrindod Wells, the first event to be held in Britain after the break forced by the war. Thanks to the FIM for scanning this set for us from their own ISDT archive collection.
You can get to see a copy of the report in full on our page dedicated to the ISDT 1949 and below you will find a summary of some of the event stats
Common knowledge recognises that with a long involvement with the ISDT and ISDE including its founding in 1913 at an event in Carlisle Britain has won the International Trophy the most of any nation. However it is popular belief, held with some disappointment in Britain, that the last time Britain won the Trophy was way back in the ISDT 1953 held in Czechoslovakia. The following year they lost it in Wales, handing the Trophy back to the hosts of their victorious event in the previous year. However a question remains that was ’53 the last year. Many at the time held out the vbiew that Britain should squeeze an extra year of glory if the decision of the Jury about an accident on the route had not reinstated a Czechoslovakian rider, who many felt should have been excluded for breaching the rules. Below is a picture of the first and second team in the Trophy from Motor Cycling and below that is the text of the editorial that appeared in the post ISDT 1954 issue of Motor Cycling which explains the reason why British Riders and supporters were unhappy about the final result.
With the 100th anniversary of the holding of the first International Six Day Trial less than 1 year away, as the event was hosted by the ACU in England before becoming one of the most truly international of top class motorcycle events. Which, with the toughness of the six days of effort quickly saw the event being likened to the ‘Olympics of Motorcycling’ a name that has stuck with it ever since as it has been hosted on most of the worlds continents.