Two melanges better? If you’ve been looking at the pics in the melange you’ll have noticed that the page takes some time to open. No surprise there—I just checked and it contains 690 images through which to browse. That notional box of old motorbike pics you’ve come across is full so it’s time to fill another. Here it is. There are, as I write this, 603 items awaiting publication (most of them courtesy of my esteemed ami Francois). As before I’ll upload them in (a highly approximate) chronological order. Enjoy.
First pic out of the box dates from about 1930 (which at the time of writing is the year I’m working on in the main timeline). These enthusiasts are posing on a 350cc Harley Model D. However, there are a lot of earlier pics that need uploading so the hell with chronological order; let’s get back to opening years of the last century.
Laon is in Picardy, where the Tommies thought the roses bloomed.
This rather sweet studio pic dates from 1904.
Three jolly Aussies share a big twin.
Judging by their armbands these clubmen are off on a trial. They’re pictured in Doncaster.
This four-pot FN looks to date from about 1910.
So you thought serious geezers in leather were a new phenomenon?
These riders are preparing for action at Porthmarnock beach, Dublin.
And now some dated snaps, starting with
This charming shot was taken in Les Sables d’Olonne a seaside town in Western France.
This pic’s contemporary caption (in rather fine copperplate) reads: “Coupe Challenge Lamberjack—Blanchon, amateur sur moto-tandem Rene Gillet 80×100 2 cylindres.” No doubt the ‘Lamberjack Challenge Cup’ was named after Lamberjack, who was a Griffon factory rider in 1904/5.
Also riding in the Lamberjack Cup was DeVay aboard a New Hudson.
These chaps rode with the MC Mandalieu in the Côte d’Azur.
This is the start of a hillclimb up the main drag of Montanglaust in Île-de-France.
This less-than-jolly outing was pictured in Nebraska.
These combos are competing in the Paris-Nice rally.
This pic bears the caption ‘Colmar’, which is a town in Alsace, so we’re in France, but with the outbreak of the Great War Colmar fell into German hands. What’s in those packages? I have no idea.
In the ‘long hot summer’ before the war a chap named Dubost won a hillclimb at Argenteuil aboard a 750cc outfit.
This twin’s a Motosacoche.
The contemporary caption tells us that the rider’s name is Robert (French surname rather than British first name, I suspect); the bike’s a 500cc Motosacoche and the road he’s scorching along is near Geneva.
Another pic with a contemporary caption; this time the bike’s a 4hp Douglas, the rider is one Rupert Karner and he’s clearly being scrutinised for sort of test.
‘Wild Bill’ Church is pictured at the Los Angeles Ascott Park Speedway aboard the newly launched 1,000cc Indian Powerplus. Church later won acclaim for riding a Powerplus up and over a roller coaster at the Venice Beach amusement park with his chum ‘Gasoline’ Gus Martin on the pillion.
From LA to Clacton; no further detail to hand about this formal gathering.
The heading needs no translation; the French newspaper caption (usual apology for mon français d’écolier): “Carrying a dispatch and anxious to deliver it to its destination, he increased the speed of his motorcycle and on a slope, at the risk of breaking his neck, he proceeds literally by leaps and bounds; it is not yet the flying motorcycle, but it is not far from it.”
The front end is clearly ‘Baby’ Triumph and the engine looks right (a 225cc two-stroke) but there are some puzzling anomalies. In any case, a cool pic, don’t you think?
This woman bestrides a Motosacoche.
This chap seems to have uniformed twins and a pond yacht in this sidecar. The bike’s a Royal Enfield.
This Harley combo was in service with the Polish army.
No more dated pics to hand at present so here are a batch to rummage through that are in no sort of order but serve as a reminder that motor cycling, that magnificent obsession, does back a long, long way. Enjoy.
This snap, evidently from the start of a competition, is simply marked ‘Amiens’.
In case you thought that mixing babes and bikes was a new pastime…But it has to be said, a smile would be nice.
The bike’s a Gillet.
We’re in Italy for this one.