Video: Full-contact brakeless skullduggery in Japanese cycle speedway racing
From East End bomb sites to the land of the rising sun
The closest thing cycling has to rollerball — or at least roller derby — cycle speedway involves an oval dirt track, singlespeed bikes with no brakes, spectacular sliding turns and lots of rider-to-rider contact. This video from Japan show how speedway has even spead to the far east, and is just as daft and fun there too.
It also has one of the best bits of skullduggery we've seen as a rider prevents a pass on the inside of a turn by sticking his foot into his challenger's wheel. Skip to 0:55 if you can't wait, but the whole thing's worth two minutes of your time.
Cycle Speedway started in the UK between the wars, but really boomed after WW2 as bombsites provided instant race tracks; by 1950 there were 200 clubs in East London alone. If you fancy go, it now comes under the umbrella of British Cycling, with about 40 clubs.