Video: Full-contact brakeless skullduggery in Japanese cycle speedway racing

From East End bomb sites to the land of the rising sun

by John Stevenson   May 1, 2014  

Japanese cycle speedway 1

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

6 user comments

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The bikes have changed a bit.

The local track where I grew up was on the site of a former piggery. It was redeveloped for housing years ago.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2177 posts]
1st May 2014 - 14:47

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Surely that's not the best they can do? Not a patch on UK cycle speedway Smile

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posted by andybwhite [183 posts]
1st May 2014 - 14:49

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Some great looking bikes there. Grass (sand) roots right there. Having fun and nothing too serious - as it should be. Like.

posted by shearer27 [11 posts]
1st May 2014 - 15:08

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Is sticking your foot into a rival's wheel a good idea? Surely you're likely to go down as well?

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posted by nowasps [246 posts]
1st May 2014 - 15:11

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Very tame. Most disciplinary suspensions in British Cycling are from Cycle Speedway - almost all for fighting...

posted by JohnnyRemo [63 posts]
1st May 2014 - 18:28

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I find cycle speedway very appealing, if the race calendar didn't clash with BMX I'd be tempted to have a go.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
6th May 2014 - 12:36

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