It was a busy year. New marques, new models, new technol;ogy, new challenges and a surge in demand from enthusiasts who had caught the motor cycling bug in uniform. There’s more than 90,000 words and stack of pictures to get through, so you’d better get started (and the Christmas story by Ixion is a doozy).
The war finally ended, petrol trickled back onto the market, Britain was producing millions of gallons of fuel. Peacetime models were being snapped up, clubs were reforming and mourning their losses. You’ll find a lot of material from 1919 on site and there’s much more to come. Watch this space.
The review of 1918 is complete, at least until more material comes my way, and I’m working on 1919. There is already a lot of material on-site covering the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s but that’s still a work in progress. The motor cycling story is now covered in some depth from the Big Bang to the end of the Great War. So let’s get on to 1919 and roar into the ‘twenties.
I’ve uploaded a lot of text and some fascinating pics from 1918. The war’s nearing its bloody end and, despite a virtual cessation of motor cycling for pleasure, there’s lots going on in preparation for a return to peace and, for the survivors, the joy of the open road.
Another year bites the dust. There was no petrol for non-essential motor cycling; a clamp down on petrol substitutes…desperate enthusiasts resorting to blimps full of coal gas…but despite that, and the number of motor cyclists who wouldn’t be coming home again there were still developments in suspension, transmission and power. There were roadtests, humorous yarns and the wit and wisdom of Ixion so take a gander; it’s a good read. Meanwhile my combo’s running on four pots again, plans are afoot to look for the missing fourth gear in a Burman gearbox and 1918 beckons. Motor cycling… it’s a magnificent obsession.
There are a lot of new yarns in 1917 (with a lot more to come) including pictures of all the bikes built for the Russian front, electro-magnetic valves, illustrated readers’ tips, a big twin Rudge…the Harleys and Indians have joined the fray, there’s a bike made from scrap at the front line, there’s a letter from Wizard O’Donovan about Brooklands Nortons, some exquisite writing by Ixion, so no change there…despite everything new models were being developed too. And in the Poetry section you’ll find three poems from 1917: a jolly ode about a novice; an enthusiast’s address to his final few drops of petrol; and a reflection on the joys of motor cycling written by a lady. By the way, you’ll find loads of meaty features attached to the annual reviews, from blow-by-blow TT and Six-Day Trials reports to touring yarns and oodles of delights. Worth a browse?
More information from 1916 might well come to hand. But for now, at least, with nigh on 44,000 words, countless pics, a library of period adverts and a yarn to make your eyes water, it is ready for you. You’ll find new machines, roadtests, technical innovations—and an almost complete ban on civilian motor cycle production as that damned bloody war ground on for another year. I’m going to take a day or two off in the garage where several motor cycles lie neglected before getting stuck into 1917.
By the way, when I talk of starting on another year, there is already plenty of copy running throughout the 1920s and ’30s and lots to read from the ’40s and ’50s. And when you’re browsing through the early years of the 20th century, do take a gander at some of the features, from TT reports to long-distance trials. They contain the memories that must have been so precious to the young chaps in the trenches, ploughing through Flanders (and Messpot) mud on the Triumphs, Duggies and P&Ms and, in increasing numbers, taking to the skies.