Book : The Six-Day Races

by Peter Joffre Nye

If you are not familiar with Six-Day Racing, it is a bike race in which riders try to go around a velodrome track as many times as possible within 144 hours (24 hours a day for 6 days). They usually worked in teams of two and took turns. One rode while the other ate and rested.

Six-Day Racing was once an extremely popular sport in the United States. The top riders were among the most famous athletes in the country and their pay would dwarf that of the top stars in baseball or football. A Six-Day Race was typically the biggest event in town and celebrities would usually be in attendance. The original Madison Square Garden was actually built, in part, to host Six-Day Races. Today however, the sport is still active in Europe but in America, hardly anyone has even heard of it. This book provides a thorough photographic history of Six-Day Races.

It was especially interesting to learn about the connections between Six-Day Races and modern-day cycling. Like the formation of cycling associations, national publications, bike companies and how some modern riders are even related to noteworthy figures involved with Six-Day Races.

Of course, I should also mention that the photos are remarkable. Especially when you consider their age and the time in which they were taken. The process of finding and assembling them must have been a massive undertaking and this book does a great job of, not just displaying them, but often telling the stories behind them.