23 Jan 2011

Vincent sidecar round a circuit

I love this trailer (see link below) of a black&white documentary filmed about a Vincent sidecar combination ridden by a Belgian couple, Michel and Bernadette. Judging by the number of other sidecars that they overtake in a short time, these two are no slouches and the Vincent has plenty of oomph (apparently bored out to 1300cc..) And the music tack is great too.

Here is a picture of how this beast probably looks on its own:

I think there must be more good crazy people in Belgium than in any other country I know! Hope they get a government soon.

(are you out there Luc? Got any ideas on this?)

<iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/13681310" width="400" height="225" frameborder="0"></iframe><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/13681310%22%3ELedermann Racing Team. "It takes two" - Teaser</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/truebikerspirit%22%3ETrue Biker Spirit</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com%22%3evimeo%3c/a%3E.%3C/p>


  1. Happened to be in Belgium myself when this first came out. Still haven’t found out how to connect to the web when not in front of my own computer (I’m kidding).
    Here comes a respectable effort at explaining: Belgium is not a country. You should define the boundaries of its “national soil” in a quantic way. There is a variable probability of finding a frontier at any given place and at any given moment: therefore, yes, you find a good many crazy people or pleasant idiots within the limits of its extendable domain. Belgium is very much a country similar to the actinides of post-mendeleievian chemists. Our sanity only lasts for a few moments, with a half-life very close to that of Lawrencium.
    As for a government: better no government than the clowns which have held the power for a few decades now.

  2. That's a pretty good reply Luc. Could seriously test the culture of most of us though. Actinides?

  3. Oh, and did you enjoy the trip on the Vincent sidecar?

  4. Actinides are radioactive – all of them, I think – elements that rank rather high (or low, depending upon what you mean) in Mendeleiev’s table (7th row, if my memory doesn’t fail me). They are considered as metals, uranium and plutonium being the best known from the public, because they can be found “naturally” on earth and serve as nuclear fuels. The others are artificial. I mean by that they did not exist on earth before man created them (sorry for Benedict!) or outside the splitting of other elements. When I was a student, we were made to believe there wouldn’t come “new” elements, but “one” has been able to consider many additional now, even more formidable than the actinides, and containing in excess of 118 protons. Don’t know about Big Brother, but Enola Gay is definitely still watching us.

  5. Don’t know about this Vincent, but I wil tell you a short anecdote instead.
    Had a school-mate by the name of Philippe Grodent, whose parents were lyric artists. He preferred the sound of exhausts and drove two-stroke Kawasaki’s (amongst others a dreadful 750 cc tricylinder in a Gila-M frame) around circuits. I gave him a helping hand as a low-quality but unpaid mechanic now and again. Ages ago, he signed up in the 1.000 km of Mettet with a friend of his, which we used to call “gros such and such” because of his sheer volume. I will withhold his real name. The weather was appalling, cold and wet, with mist to top the bill. Philippe came to the end of his turn at the handlebars and made a sign from the track he would come in the pits next lap. I rushed to the caravan to tell the second pilot he had to make an appearance ... only to find him in the middle of a totally different type of activity, involving a partner as well, but no helmet nor gloves.
    And my Philippe had to make it to the tarmac again after his pitstop, totally unplussed. Yes, racing for glory is like fucking for virginity.

    1. Luc Charlier ... Philippe Grodent vit toujours et en bonne forme ...
      Bien à toi

      Philippe .. lol .. 0475/700.726

  6. Good story Luc, but not too sure how to construe your conclusion. Racing for glory is like a contradition in terms to you?

  7. And, on your preivous comment, I must apologise for my almost total absence of scientific culture.

  8. You flatter me by thinking there is anything to construe on my conclusions, ever. Sometimes, a witty remark is worth more than a high philosophical concept, in my restricted mind. Still, racing for glory is the only good reason I can imagine. Most people race for money nowadays, or because their parents want them to, or for the thrill of risking one’s life. Thus, certainly no contradictio in terminis. As for the second term of the comparison, I still consider myself a virgin .... Sigh.
    I would not say science is a culture. It’s a sum of things you happen to know, and you are more informed in that field if your entire life has been spent in those circles. It’s something that permeates to the inner layers of you, as if you were a sponge. I think I’m a sponge with a good memory, moreover.
    Culture involves – as far as I am concerned – a voluntary effort to learn things about art, history, politics, sport ... anything you care to consider. It “don’t come easy”.
    I made a living by convincing ministers or their advisers and university professors alike that the drugs I was helping develop were worth considering. This necessitated a little bit of scientific knowledge ... which I acquired. But one lives perfectly well without knowing anything about the periodic table. On the contrary, I don’t believe one lives well when unaware of history, music, religions or, of course, politics.
    “Un intello, moi ?”. Don’t think so. Just a product of humanism, that wishes to stick to it.

  9. My supervisor at work used to race a Vincent black lightening sidecar bike, he said it was unbeatable, because of its good engine braking and acceleration from turns.

  10. Yes, and someone is Australia has recently proven that these engines can still perform well in contemporary racing.