Great Biking Traditions

by Keep Britain Biking

The wall of death

An old fashioned carnival – the smell of candyfloss; the stomach-churning lurch of the waltzers; the multi-coloured lights trailing overhead; tacky music blasting out into the night; is there anything quite like it?

As I’m sure you can tell a good carnival is one of the Keep Britain Biking team’s favourite evenings out – even more-so if they’ve set up legendary motorcycling side-show ‘The Wall of Death’.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this fantastic stunt it features a brave motorcyclist taking his bike up the ‘wall’ of a barrel-shaped cylinder and defying gravity (through the mysterious power of centrifugal force). Exciting stuff!

Whilst you might associate the wall primarily with America and United States – the first carnival motordrome opened in Coney Island, New York in 1911 and quickly became a staple of the state fair circuit – you can see the wall in action right here in Britain!

Only a few remain in action so you will have to make a bit of an effort – ‘The Wall of Dead World Tour’ uses authentic period American Indian Motorcycles and regularly take their show on the road. There permanent home is in Wilburton so if you’re in that neck of the woods why not have a gander?

Have any of you seen the Wall of Death in action or even ridden it yourself? We’d love to hear your stories and see any pictures!

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