Book Review — speed
Mat Oxley’s thrilling work makes for a great read
If you’re a longtime reader of Bike India you’re most probably quite familiar with Mat oxley’s name. our highly experienced firebrand MotogP editor is one of the foremost names in the world of motor sport reportage and has earned a reputation for pulling no punches when sharing his thoughts on the pinnacle of two-wheeled racing. With a journalistic career spanning over 30 years and an Isle of Man TT winner’s medal to his credit, Mat is the real deal. His latest literary endeavour draws on all this considerable experience and transports its readers to the very genesis of competition astride motorized two-wheelers.
In Speed: The One Genuinely Modern
Pleasure you will meet colourful characters like the ruffian racers hailing from england, whose post-race debauchery would put any rock ‘n’ roll band to shame, the ne’er-do-wells chasing riches, fame, and glory and courting death at every turn of america’s treacherous motordromes, and the french racing contingent that pioneered motorcycle competition and certainly weren’t above a bit of skulduggery to ensure the local heroes always came out on top.
This book grabs your attention and arrests it as you hold on for a virtual ride that sees you hurtle through time, space, and the history of motorcycle culture. you’ll be transported from the Brooklands Motor
Circuit in Surrey, the first ever purpose-built proving grounds, to the Parc Des Princes, then a velodrome-turned-motorcycle racetrack and now home to Paris Saintgermain and its billionaire footballer stars, and will also blast along the wide-open spaces of the autobahn and navigate the then muddy lanes of the legendary Isle of
Speed… is awash with quotes from mainstream and niche publications from all the different periods it covers, adding a ring of authenticity to these fantastical tales. It is also perfectly punctuated by some breath-taking imagery that offers the reader an insight into the barely controlled chaos that was bike racing in its infancy. It’s no rose-tinted reminisce about the glory days with roughish heroes consistently defying the grim reaper’s scythe either. Instead, it offers its reader a holistic view that serves up a balanced outlook touching upon both the heady highs of racing and the trail of death and destruction it left in its wake.
So, whether you’re a racing fan or a motorcycle enthusiast in general, Speed… should hold a place of pride in your bookshelf. This book is a perfect mix of the enthralling and the informative; a seminal tribute to the prizes and pitfalls of mankind’s unquenchable lust for that wiliest of temptresses: speed.