Review of ‘The Six Day Affair’ – by Graham Austin

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When John told me about the 1939 International Six Day Trial in Austria, blighted by the start of WW2, I immediately looked it up on the internet. What I found was a series of reprints from the motorcycling press and a few comments and accounts of the aftermath. I also found that I had a personal, though somewhat tenuous, connection with the tale; having driven most of the course taken on the third day, which included the Grossglockner Pass, on one of my Tours des Cols.

John has taken this rather dry material and, together with a transcript of an interview with one of the lady riders, he has melded them into a story which makes it all flow in a very readable manner.

The author has taken care not to interfere with the facts but has added some episodes under the guise of a youthful adventure recounted by a now elderly man to his grandson. The chapters are introduced with short sections of dialogue in the present followed by the recounted tale in a different typeface. Purely factual sections are occasionally interposed for completeness.

I found the book to be a good read especially with respect to the position in which the many British, and other riders, found themselves with the certain expectation of war just a day or two away. Moreover many of the teams were drawn from the military and one imagines that they may well have been a little nervous as to their status so far into greater Germany. I will say no more…

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