Ride the Wind: The Race of Gentlemen

Why is "Ride the Wind Day" celebrated today? Originally, to celebrate flight with human muscle power. But now people are no longer as detached as they used to be - and celebrate it with any other activity that honours the wind. And, of course, celebrating their own attitude to freedom. We decide on a Harley - including a race on the beach.
Text Tom M. Muir
Photo Götz Göppert

All eyes are on the are on the flag girl. Dressed in Harley Davidson service overalls, this blonde lady decides when the race will start. The two antique motorcycles roar to life as the starter's flag moves to the ground in a high arcing pattern. The rear wheels churn up meter-high jets of sand, and the smell of engine oil and burned clutch is in the air. For a moment, the spectators are taken back to the Roaring Twenties.

Decked out in the style of the US hot rod tradition, over 100 vintage cars from 1934 and earlier and classic motorcycles built before 1947 are featured at the Race of Gentlemen East. The riders are wearing clothes from that era, the live music is period and the sprint races are as tough as nails. History is brought to life at Wildwood Beach in New Jersey.

The rear wheels churn up meter-high jets of sand, and the smell of engine oil and burned clutch is in the air.

Everyone who lives on the other coast can enjoy the Race of Gentlemen West at Pismo Beach in California, which boasts a combination of fine, white sand and a relaxed West Coast attitude.

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