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Some combinations of people, places, and things invariably lead to exciting outcomes. Powerful brakeless bikes, grippy shale and daredevil skill frequently combine to thrilling effect. Sensibly most people learn to avoid participating but, then, most people aren’t speedway riders competing in an adrenalin based sport racing at insane speed in close proximity.
Unsurprisingly tensions sometimes burn hotter than an over-revved engine, not least because the tiniest on track error during the course of a race can have drastic life-altering consequences. After the chequered flag, riders can congratulate each other or, perhaps, vividly explain their point of view in ways that leave a lasting impression and sometimes a lasting mark.
Off the track speedway spectators’ mistakes usually only require some crossing out in their programme (or, for the very well prepared, Tippex). Though primarily and justifiably celebrated as a family sport, off the track things away can get as testy or crash, bang, wallop as on it.
For nearly a decade, author Jeff Scott travelled the hallowed speedway tracks of Great Britain to investigate the philosophical question, “What is Speedway?” He may or may not have discovered the answer to this momentous question but, in Born to Rumble, he thoughtfully and conveniently selects some of the juicy bits of the speedway fights, altercations and contretemps he witnessed and recorded as they happened or as they live in legend.