Saturday, January 30, 2016

Stayer Bonanza pt II

Following the Stayer Bonanza of a few months back here are a whole load more stayer images. Once again the celebrity of both the stayer pilots as well as the cyclists themselves comes across. The stayer riders needed great skill to accurately pace their partner cyclist and a good rider knew a trick or two to get his cyclist ahead and stay in the lead.

Paced cycle racing still goes on though is very much a minority sport. There's been a strong revival of board track racing motorcycles of late; it would be great to see a similar renaissance for the stayers. A stayer was always a very limited production machine, not so many years back they were broken up for their motors but appreciation is rising and there are a few survivors out there. Wouldn't it be wonderful to re-create the spectacle of racing the boards. I have a c1910 track cycle - if you've got a working pacer get in touch and let's see what we can do!

At a guess dating from just before or just after WW1. The
stayer looks like a gentle giant with a big bore inlet over
exhaust v-twin. The cyclist is Seres and the pacer Moreau.

The caption reads, 'Nat Butler, American stayer lead by

This Gentleman goes by the name of Cavé.

The translation of the captions can be confusing. In French the
cyclists are referred to as 'stayers' and the motorcyclists are
'entraineurs'. Somehow in translation to English the motorcyclists
have become stayers. This is French champion, L. Minardi
led by Lavalade.

German cyclist Karl Wittig with stayer
Seppi Käser.

Just imagine if the fastest thing you had ever seen was a galloping
horse and then you turned up to a velodrome, paid your few centimes
to get in and then saw several stayers circulating at 60mpg spitting
fire from stub exhausts with cyclists tagging along behind. The noise,
the spectacle!

Cyclists Dickentmann and Robi with their stayers. Apparently
taken from the book, 'Major Taylor'. If you do not know the story
of Major Taylor you must read it. Try the wikipedia biog.

Linart, a Belgian rider who was world
champ in 1921.

This very stylish gent goes by the name
of Guignard.


  1. Incredibly, I only just realized why the motorcycle riders sit so far to the rear of their machines! Well, duh... The Major Taylor story is great. I'd never heard it.