Motorcycle Racing in Wales: 1930s
Old black and white photos of vintage enduro racing make us think about what races were like with less sponsors, less regulations and rules. There’s a purity about it: no logo-saturated arenas, branded bales or race track billboards, just a big sky and a gritty, challenging road.
We’re fans of enduro racing, where riders have to overcome obstacles over long periods of time in whatever elements Mother Nature throws at ’em. Often, there’s a fraction of the fanfare you’d find at the more televised kinds of motorcycle sport.
While other kids were imitating Michael Jordan or John Elway, we were mimicking Malcolm Smith and putting MS Racing stickers on our bicycle forks. His success in the International Six Day Trials opened our eyes to this cool genre of racing that really tested the skill and endurance of the rider as well as the motorcycle’s reliability.
These images are from the P B Abery Collection, National Library of Wales. Percy Abery was an outdoorsman who explored the countryside taking photos along the way. Captured in the early 1930s, he provides a wonderful glimpse into the beauty of enduro racing in Wales. This post’s first photo is titled, “Motorcycle racing in Rhayader on the old road to Aberystwyth.” Rhayader is a town in Mid Wales and Aberystwyth is a historic market town facing the Irish Sea.
Check out Speed Track Tales to learn more about these old races and a guy who is archiving even more info about ISDT racing and Motorcycle Reliability Trials in Europe.