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The Six-Day Bicycle Races
A Gallery of Pre-War photos

Before World War 2, before the great Depression, Amercian bicycle racers could make more than the greatest baseball players. The country was nuts about indoor bicycle racing on banked tracks and American track racers were the best.

Few people have done more to preserve this wonderful heritage than Jeff Groman. His shop, Classic Cycles on Bainbridge Island, Washington, is a magnificent repository of carefully preserved old bikes, equipment and vintage photographs. If you get even close to his shop, I promise you that it's worth a detour. The photos below are from Jeff's collection and are reproduced with his permission.

Can't make it? Here's his web site.

He's made a documentary about the 6-Days. It's terrific. Jeff chased down several of the old 6-Day greats, some of them just before they died, and preserved their memories on video tape. You'll find some of that priceless footage in the documentary.

And then there's the book Peter Joffre Nye wrote to go with the documentary. Nye knows American bike racing like no one else. You can buy the book from Amazon.com by clicking on the Amazon link.

BikeRaceInfo also has Nye's story of 6-Day legend Reggie McNamara

There's more! Page 2 of the 6-Day gallery

Joe Dimaggio (in dark suit, upper left) starts the 1939 New York Six-Day.

Six-Day racing was a serious, dangerous business. Crashes were common. Six-Day legend Reggie McNamara said he broke his collarbone 17 times. Splinters from the wooden tracks were always a terrible danger. Here a heavily bandaged Eddie Trieste gets thrown into the race by his partner.

Six-Day racing was entertainment and needed promotion. Here the wives of some racers pose before a 6-day at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Look out! Al Crossley is throwing in Jimmy Walthour, Jr. This is one of the great all-time 6-Day teams.

Cleveland, 1932. Canadian racer Jules Audy shakes hands with one of America's finest-ever athletes, Babe Didrikson Zaharias just after she won 2 gold medals and a silver at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic games. Audy must not have been very tall, Zaharias was 5'5".

Bike racers can clean up OK. Here's a banquet in 1926 honoring the Italian riders in the New York 6-Day at Madison Square Garden.

There's more! Page 2