Yankee Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Team Yankee at the 1972 Czech ISDT

Continued from Page 26
Trail Rider November 1972. Page 27

Then the head checker came over, his English was better, and he offered to send the little Czech along with us to lead us to Vincent. He requested in a carefully constructed English sentence that we return the guide to him after we picked up Vincent, as he was needed for further work.

So we four were soon on the road back to Janske Lazne, and from that tiny village, our guide directed us up the switchback gravel mountain road. When he gestured straight ahead into a muddy rutted woods trail at the third or fourth switchback, I paused, for it was Berkshire mud and rock, a logging road, no better.

My questioning look prompted assurance from our guide, and I eased the front wheel drive Renault sedan over the shallow ditch at the entrance to the woods road, and then began the laborious ascent. The others had to get out almost immediately as the rock ledge and mud ruts in the road made it impossible to keep the Renault on the wheel tracks. I had to get one side up on the center hump, the other on the hump on the downhill side of the trail, for the uphill side was too steeply uphill to get wheels up onto. The downhill side was likewise very steep, and I was rather nervous about it. But, we understood that Charlie was about a kilometer up this rough way, too far to walk or carry if he was indeed crippled.

Over a narrow planked bridge, edging along over ledges and mud, I became slowly aware that this luxury car (by Czech standards) was a marvel off the road. Never any wheelspin, those fat little radial tires up front just wrapped themselves around each outcrop, over each muddy hump, and clawed on. Finally our guide motioned me to stop. A steep trail led to our left downhill, and the roof of a small hostel showed through the grey mists. Charlie was down there.