Friday, July 31, 2009

Fun Fact Friday - You drive me up the wall!


I am enthralled by the silodrome, more affectionately known as the 'Wall of Death'. Twenty years ago I saw a movie titled Eat the Peach, where the protagonist, an Irish national, decided to build himself one of these contraptions after watching an Elvis film. An obvious work of fiction, since most people can only muster up the energy to tear their eyeballs from their sockets and fill the void with lye after watching one of those.

Of course, you can call me 'Crash' all you want, I know I'm not Captain Stable when it comes to riding on dry, level pavement. (Just Google 'microcows' and check out the photobucket album!) However, the thought of this rush thrills me.

The concept is nowhere near new. Originally, cycle tracks were made of wooden planks, and in an effort to make the races more accessible, portable tracks were built. In 1915, Erle 'Red' Armstrong built the first silodrome, in an effort to show off and sell more motorcycles for his employer, Indian. What thrills me is that originally, the 'Whirl of Death' as it was originally dubbed, was set up INDOORS. Take that, monster truck jam!
Copycats abounded, and more of these walls showed up at fairs here and abroad. The shows survive today, many riders still using vintage stripped-down Indians and Harleys. And they kick ass.

4 comments:

Samsmama said...

You dropped your bike? I'm guessing you weren't going very fast based on the damage/injury. Ugh, that's my biggest fear.

Elliott said...

Stalled it in a corner, got pinned beneath it and had to have it lifted off of my leg.

Ah, good times.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

With all the dark color, you'd have to figure there were some antioxidants worked into the mix.

Plus, ethanol dissolved cholesterol better than water.

Elliott said...

Mjenks - I'm guessing this was meant for the Guinness post, but hey, I like the surrealism it lends here better...

Be nice and share!

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