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When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Riding Bike in the Fifties

"Sometimes, on certain mornings in early fall, when there is a light fog and the air holds a hint of moisture, I can recall so clearly the sound of a single’s exhaust. The mist put a layer of moisture on the chrome, and I’d wipe dew off the seat with a rag, tickle the carb and mount the bike. Using the compression release, I’d kick the piston through until it was on compression stroke and kick it without the compression release, maybe once, maybe more, until it fired. The exhaust was crisp, sharp, with a bark as I cracked the throttle." 
 Thus begins “Riding Bike in the Fifties,” hot-rod historian Albert Drake's most recent book. It's a journey into memory, back to a time that has to be called the Golden Age of Motorcycles. British bikes--BSA, Triumph, AJS, Matchless, Norton, Velocette--had invaded roads and race tracks previously dominated by Harley-Davidson and Indian. In the open land surrounding cities bikers were blazing trails, making Hare and Hound courses. If there was a rule it was "run what ya brung", never mind about insurance, licenses, headlights, mufflers, crash helmets. There never was a time when so many were so free on two wheels.

“Riding Bike in the Fifties” is jammed with first-hand accounts of riding and racing motorcycles in the 1950s and vintage black and white photographs and illustrations. Topics range from “What We Wore,” “Where We Rode,” to “The Morning Speed Run,” and “Three-Wheeling.”

131 pages, 10 x 7 x 0.3 inches, perfect-bound (September, 2012)
Stone Press; ISBN: 0-936892-27-7; Signed copy...
$19.95 

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