Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Life in the Slipstream - The Legend of Bobby Walthour SR.

Life in the Slipstream
The Legend of Bobby Walthour SR.
By Andrew M. Howman
Published by Potomac Books, Inc.
260 pages with 44 black and white photos

Life in the slipstream by Andrew M. Howman tells the story of Bobby Walthour, Sr's life. It focuses on his career as a track racing cyclist in which he is famous for. Walthour became a sports superstar during the late 1800s and early 1900s. At this time bicycle racing was more popular and paid better than professional baseball. While racing in 1904 he won 40 of 44 races.

This is the amazing story of how a teenage bicycle messenger in Atlanta, Ga gained fame and fortune racing his bicycle. Bobby Walthour, Sr began his racing career as a track sprinter. He later switched to mainly motor-paced races. He bought a tandem (two man) motorcycle in the late 1800s and had it shipped to Atlanta to use pacing him on the track. It took two men to pilot these early motorcycles, one to steer and one to operate the motorcycle. According to some accounts, Walthour's tandem motorcycle was the first internal combustion vehicle in the state of Georgia. Imagine the amazement as spectators watched him flying around an indoor wooden track drafting behind a loud and exhaust belching tandem motorcycle. Many of the steeply banked tracks that Walthour raced on were only 8, 10 and 12 laps to a mile in length. 

These book gives the details of many horrific crashes. Many of which were fatal to the cyclists and the motor-pacers. Tires for motorcycles and bicycles were in the early stages of development and not up to the sustained speeds obtained during these events. 

Walthour, Sr. also took part in many six day races. Within this book These events are described in detail along with much history of six day races.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys cycling and/or history.

Click here for more on Bobby Walthour, Sr.
Click here for Andrew M. Homan's website on Bobby Walthour, Sr.

Bobby Walthour, Sr. is referred to as senior so as not to confuse him with his son, Bobby Walthour, Jr., who also was a cycling champion.
Click on the ad to enlarge it
Coca Cola advertisement featuring Bobby Walthour, Sr.

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