A CENTURY AGO TODAY – SCOTT’S FIRST TT WIN.
One hundred years ago today, on 1st July 1912, which was a Monday, history was made, when, for the first time, a 2 stroke motor cycle won the Isle of Man Senior TT race. The machine, of course, was a Scott, in the hands of Frank A Applebee, at an average speed not far short of 50mph.
Nowadays that speed seems very low, but back then the machines bore beaded edge tyres running on roads which were often grass-verged, un-drained dirt tracks, pot-holed, scattered with stones, and probably lost horseshoe nails from the normal horse power users. (For the full story see Yowl June 2012)
The current July edition of Classic Bike has acknowledged this event by printing a superb double page picture, which I have not seen before, in it’s opening pages showing Frank Applebee coming out of Ramsey on an incredibly rough track, with grassy verges, and grass in the trackway. The following rider is choosing to use the grass, probably because it is less likely to have pot-holes.
A great anniversary !
I travelled to Czech Republic to join Pavel Simek in a race meeting at Dvur Kralove on 30th June being the 100th anniversary of the historic TT win.
It was a push start 5 lap race and to my infinite chagrin, the bike refused to fire up at the drop of the flag. I pushed and pushed and was ready to give up, but Pavel, who has the heart of a lion, insisted he push me further…All the field had long gone, but it finally fired up. Off we go over the bumps and start to give the Scott it’s head, whilst taking care on the adverse camber bumpy bits. After about ¾ of a lap, I started passing other riders and this is how it carried on. To be fair, it was far from an equal contest, and I was passing other riders with something like 30mph in hand. In the circumstances, I just wanted to enjoy myself and to demonstrate some of the potential that lies within Alfred Scott’s basic design. As there were a modest crowd of folks at the downhill start / finish line, I tried to put on a good show by going by at full bore. This was not so easy as the road surface was quite bumpy and just beyond this point it was necessary to brake hard to negotiate a 25mph road intersection feature. Ride with me — Full throttle in top as I pass another rider with about 40 mph difference, bike leaping about, vision blurred but focussing on a light coloured repaired patch of tarmac about 50 yards beyond the finish line where I must anchor up hard if I am to make the turn ahead.
To cope with the bumps, I am on the foot pegs and so when I brake hard, I slide up the tank till my body is against the bars, whilst doing a quick downshift from forth gear to first. (Four Speed Scott gearbox)
To say it was hectic would be an understatement, but everybody had been so kind and welcoming, that the least I could do was give them a show. At last the flag and a wind down lap to wave appreciation to the marshals who give their time so that fools such as I can have fun. Much enthusiastic waving back whilst I remember one marshal taking off his hat and giving a lavish Elizabethan bow. To my great surprise, I was declared the winner after catching and passing the whole field from being best part of a lap behind at the start.
I feel sure Alfred would have smiled. So I now have a beautiful trophy to prove that a Scott won a race exactly 100 years after the TT win in honour of their achievement
You are “THE MAN!!” Roger. 😀 😀 To quote “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” We’re not worthy!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 🙂 😯 😯 Ted