Have you ever wondered how one might operate a modern vehicle like an ancient chariot? This author has contemplated the concept from time to time throughout her life. George Lucas did too, apparently. His famous (infamous?) podracers in The Phantom Menace* are based on chariots like those seen in Ben-Hur*.
Mr. Lucas and I are not the only ones to reflect on this possibility, however. Below is an article on the near-forgotten art of motorcycle chariot racing. Yes, you read that right; there are actually people who strap a chariot to two motorcycles and drive it. More to the point, they race in these contraptions and/or drive them from place to place.
The sport, for such it may be called, dates back to the dawn of the motor vehicle. Once motorcycles had been invented someone got the idea to use them rather than horses in chariot-style races. The game was quite popular in the 1920s and ‘30s but lost favor in the following decades. I cannot recall now if the trend lasted longer in Europe than it did in the U.S., but it was certainly fashionable there as well.
Of course, just because the sport fell out of fashion does not mean people stopped racing these contraptions. Although not nearly as prevalent as they once were, motorcycle chariot races still occur across the United States and some other countries. The piece below has more information on the sport, though it might need updating by now. So if you want to know more about motorcycle chariot races – or how to join in on the fun – the link below will be a good place to start:
MOTORCYCLE CHARIOT RACING WAS A REAL SPORT IN THE 1920S AND 1930S
by UNBELIEVABLE FACTS
4 years ago
We may think that we may have seen everything that racing as an extremely entertaining sport has to offer today. Well…..not quite. We are yet to see a sort of racing sport which is yet to gain popularity now but which was extremely popular during the 1920s and 1930s. That sport was Motorcycle Chariot Racing.
According to pictures taken around that time in countries all over the world like Australia, New Zealand, the USA and some parts of Europe, this unique sport took place with people driving chariots with motorcycles instead of horses like they used to in the Roman Era.
According to Popular Mechanics magazine, these chariots were made from wine barrels for sporting in 1922 with automobile wheels attached to them with motorcycles in front and “Charioteers” wearing roman era inspired costumes with motorbike riders in front who drove them during the race.
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If you would prefer a type of transportation that is less wild, check out Planetary Anthology: Uranus. In addition to space travel it has murder, mayhem, and a little psychic twist. Pick it up today and go on a fantastic ride to the seventh planet in the Solar System, readers!