Illustrations by Martin Squires
What does it feel like to do 90mph? Plenty can answer that today, but very few could in 1911. The question was posed to Jake DeRosier in 1911, after the successful completion of a 90mph stint on the Playa Del Rey board track, on an Indian V-twin with no suspension or brakes, riding over the rough, uneven, and slippery surface of pine board laid end-to-end in an endless loop. DeRosier was the most famous competition rider in the world in the first decade of the 20th Century, and the first salaried professional motorcycle racer. He would shortly cross the Atlantic to race for Indian at the Isle of Man and Brooklands, where Indians took 1-2-3 at the TT, and DeRosier beat his great rival, Charlie Collier on his Matchless, in a series of match races at Brooklands: he was on top of the world, but from this interview, it doesn’t sound easy.
Vintagent Contributor Martin Squires was inspired to illustrate a famous interview with DeRosier from MotorCycling magazine, published in their 14th March 1911 issue. He’s broken up his format specially for TheVintagent.com.