In the corner of my workshop, there is a little piece of motorcycle history.
Often overlooked by everyday urgency, meeting of deadlines and ensuring that projects conform to the "end of the month" customer expectations.It just needs a prompt from a visitor's unwitting comment, to remind me how lucky I am to be in the company of a.... 1930 Dirt Track Rudge.
This old racer sits quietly like an old boxer. A little battle scarred, a little attitude, but still "hard as nails".
You know that should you mix it up and go down the track with this pocket size bare fist fighter tumbling after you, it is really going to hurt.
|Jacob, the next custodian!|
The sharp, abrupt noise and Castor smell from the two port exhaust pipes shouts that you can only be on a speedway bike. Childhood memories of Swindon speedway nights on my big brothers shoulders, will always be immediately summoned. The unforgettable words from my hero and legend Barry Briggs " Yer pen don't write mate" as he hands back a Swindon programme without even a smudge!
And the proud memory of cycling to Swindon rider Mike Keen's workshop and earn 50p cleaning his bib, leathers and boots.
My Rudge has Swindon connections too, It belonged to Swindon rider, captain and coach, Bob Jones.I am not too sure if Bob raced this bike in his early days, more likely it was his second bike for demonstrations and commemorative events, certainly Bob had another, possibly more original bike.
I will not restore it, but it is my duty not to let it deteriorate.
Apart from a suspected fault as the magneto warms up, the machine starts and runs very nicely.
Riding it is as you might expect, something of a time travel experience, very quick too, even by modern standards. Scarier than a lap on a modern ish grass bike, I always feel its physical, hard steel form, will not forgive you for any mistake. However I am sure that I would be proven wrong after many exciting races.