Tag: Rhinebeck

Motorcycle Photo: The Toughest Scooter in the World

Motorcycle Photo: The Toughest Scooter in the World

Sometimes scooter riders don’t get the respect they deserve from motorcycle riders. They don’t get a wave, a nod, a ‘Hey nice bike’ from their bigger 2-wheeled brethren. Let’s face it. Sometimes they get mocked, laughed at and straight up made fun of. This scooter rider dares you to make fun of their wheels.

Scooter with Machine Gun and Sidecar

Love it.

Rhinebeck Grand National Super Meet: 1897 De Dion-Bouton Tricycle

Rhinebeck Grand National Super Meet: 1897 De Dion-Bouton Tricycle

Amongst the many beautiful antique motorcycles at the 2010 Rhinebeck Grand National Super Meet was one very special standout for me; the 1897 De Dion-Bouton tricycle.

Having never heard of this machine before as soon as I got home I started digging around in some of my motorcycle books and browsing the web for information on this charming 100+ year old relic.

De Dion-Bouton Tricycle - Rhinebeck National Meet De Dion-Bouton Tricycle Rhinebeck Grand national Super Meet
De Dion-Bouton Tricycle Rhinebeck National Meet

It so happens that the marque has a local Long Island connection. One of the brand’s most notable owners was motor racing enthusiast  William Kissam Vanderbilt II. In 1899, Vanderbilt ordered one of the 1 3/4HP tricycles from France and had it shipped to the US.

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The Hell Riders Wall of Death – Motordrome Motorcycle Thrill Show

The Hell Riders Wall of Death – Motordrome Motorcycle Thrill Show

Step right up, step right up! Thrills and chills await as motorcycle riders defy the laws of gravity. You won’t believe your eyes.

Wall of Death California Hell Riders Show

The Wall of Death.
A titillating name that hearkens back to the American circus sideshow era. It sounds forbidden, scary and most of all enticing. A thrill show indeed.

The exterior of the Motordrome has a Coney Island feel; red, white and blue all the way. It is a fire-breathing slice of Americana. The Hell Riders proudly display their stars and bars painted Indian and Harley-Davidson motorcycles on the stage as they entice the crowd to come, one come all, to see their show.

California Hell Riders Wall of Death Motordrome

The crowd filtered it’s way up the stairs and into the mouth of the tent. There was an excited buzz in the air as everyone peered down into the big wooden barrel. Once the music started and you heard the first engine come to life –  you went to a primal place that was fueled by gasoline and impure thoughts. From the sound of the crowd and the roar of the bikes to the feeling of the vibrations that traveled up through the floorboards – you became completely transfixed by what is unfolding in front of you.

Ian Daniels Slide for Life Go-Kart California Hell RidersSlide for Life – Go-Kart

The show opens with Ian Daniels on board a go-kart that you would swear has no chance of making it around the walls of the barrel! This trick is called the Slide for Life and it sets the tone for the excitement of the following three acts.

The Dips and Dives of Death

Next up was Sandra D.  on her 1957 Harley-Davidson Hummer.  She climbed the walls higher and higher during her Dips and Dives of Death show. As Sandra went round and round, up and down the sides of the barrel  she wore a smile on her face the whole time. As she rode closer to the top of the railing, it added to the element of danger that makes the show so exciting!

Free-hand Trick and Acrobatic Riding

Don Daniels II aboard the 1930 101 Indian Scout brought the excitement to the next level as he whirled around the rim of the Motordrome with no hands on the bars. His specialty is free-handed acrobatic riding. Around and around he went, snatching folded dollar bills out of the hands of the thrill-hungry crowd. And just to kick things up a notch, he spun himself sidesaddle and sat on the Indian with no hands and feet on the controls! Awesome!

Wall of Death Sandra D. Dips and Dives of Death Show Don Daniels II California Hell Rider Wall of Death Show Don Daniels II California Hell Riders

Two Times the Fun – California Pursuit Race

The show closer really got the crowd going. It was called the the California Pursuit Race. This act put Sandra D. and Ian Daniels in the Motordrome together at the same time. Ian on his go-kart and Sandra on the Harley climbing the walls together in a blur of speed and noise. How do they do it without colliding in their dizzying pace?! It was fantastic!

I give this show a 4 shiny pink stars.  It was really fun and exciting. You can view their performance schedule on the Wall of Death website. It is not to be missed!

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Sorry about the photos being blurry, but I was just shooting blind while watching the show. It was too exciting to watch through a lens!

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