Thursday, December 24, 2015

Gene Walker..... Indian Racing Great

A young Gene Walker

Board track racing was dangerous in the extreme, imagine riding at speeds approaching 100 mph on a motorcycle not much larger than a bicycle with no brakes.  The tracks were constructed of wood and were hard to maintain, there were some horrible injuries.  These guys were iron men...

An early Indian "Wigwam" racing camp.  I didn't realize this until I read an article on Deadly Dave's blog stating that the bikes were crated up in these wooden boxes and shipped to the racing event from the factory.  When it was determined by the factory which race they would attend the rider received a telegram and he would travel to the venue where he would meet up with his bike which was shipped directly from the factory.  The factory controlled everything.  The riders received little compensation and many died.

 This would have been typical of the bike Gene Walker would have ridden, very cool looking but a whole other animal when raced at top speed !

Walker died of injuries sustained in a practice crash in June 1924 at the age of thirty