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.