“Riders bound by shared pain in the face of adversity……………..”
International Motorcycle Road Race, Indiana 1919 HARLEY-DAVIDSON take out the first three placings…..
L’Eroica and Strade Bianche signify respect for past bicycle races run on gravel roads in Europe. Back in 1919 Americans were turning up in their thousands to watch motorcycle races run on dirt tracks – “thousands attend on Motor Cycles”, nothing has changed riders still make their way to major motorcycle events like Moto GP, World Super Bikes and Isle of Man TT - on their bikes – in their thousands.
At Indiana Harley Davidson took out the first three placings in a 206.9 mile race on the dirt in 1919. The race features Otto Walker, the famous Harley Davidson board track rider. Leslie “Red” Parkhurst hurls his Harley into first, Ralph Hepburn is winner of second place and Otto walker makes it a clean sweep winning third place. Teddy Carroll puts in for Indian the next man across the line.
This is as raw as it gets no champaign sprayed around here, just a shot of whiskey from a hip flask and plenty of cigarettes while you wait for your mates to finish – then loft them in the air in celebration of a hard day out in the dust. Riders bound by shared pain in the face of adversity, the Indiana motorcycle race reminiscent of scenes at the finish line of races like Milan San Remo at the same time. An overriding impression of the era is that mateship counted most while racing threw up immense challenges – just to finish was a feat in itself.
The importance of the race attracts fans from every part of the country, and thousands attend on Motor Cycles.
Great numbers arrive in side cars.
Rear View of Harley-Davidson Pit.
OTTO WALKER tuning up.
Rear view of Excelsior pit.
A few of the 15000 spectators.
The Indian Team
The 18 Entrants Lining Up.
Chariman Parsons, Starter Sullivan and Managing Director, R.H.Sturm
Starter Sullivan paces the first lap.
The side car drops out … The Race Is On!
Forty laps of 5.17 Miles each 206.9 miles in all.
Passing the Grand Stand.
Whipping around the Michaelville turn.
Comin down the home stretch ….. Ninety Miles an hour.
Walker takes the lead.
Dashing around the Shugart turn – the worst on the course.
Opening up for the two mile straight-away
OTTO Walker’s First stop at 105 miles
Fast Work at the pit …… every second counts
Coming out of the Michaelville turn.
Getting away from the pits.
Smiling Red Parkhurst hurls his HARLEY-DAVIDSON into first place.
Giving the HARLEY-DAVIDSON yell.
And the race goes on.
RALPH HEPBURN Winner Of Second Place.
Fighting it out for third place.
Anxiously waiting for the third man.
OTTO WALKER wins third place…..
TEDDY CARROLL Fourth Place INDIAN
HARLEY-DAVIDSON First! Second! Third!
Pres.Walter Davidson Congratulates the winners.
After the grind, the technical committee measuring the motors.