Thursday, 5 May 2016

What is Bonneville actually ?

 . . . in the context of this Blog,  Bonneville is an iconic location and event relating to speed trials for all types of 'transport' machines from tiny to huge, beautiful to ugly,   . . . and nothing ever boring !

. . . out of racing season, the place is a rather striking dried salt-lake desert surrounded by arid hills and low mountains.  Most of the year sees the location waterless and hot attracting visitors for it's remoteness and striking atmosphere, especially at night when the moon is up and stars sprinkle the sky.

Around 1900 the first roads reached the salt lake and in 1907 two local men rode onto the salt in a car to create the first 'recorded' speed-trial.   By 1914 the first official, organised time-trial hailed the beginning of Bonneville salt-lake as the World centre for timed speed records and very quickly a whole range of different classes from vehicle types to engine sizes and fuel groups was established by what has remained essentially a voluntary group of enthusiasts, the Southern Californian Timing Association.  In 2014 they intended to celebrate 100 years of speed racing, however the event was cancelled due to flooding, only the second time in 100 years.

   The event remains quite unique to motorsport as unlike SuperBikes, Nascar and Formula1 it has not been commercialised and excessively branded by commercial interests.   Relatively unknown to the general public due to the lack of mainstream media coverage bonneville is well recognised within the motorcycle community as providing the name for a notable Triumph motorcycle and for being the place that Rollie Free and Burt Munro did their 'thing',     I will talk about these two chaps in my next blog.


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