The motorcycle gymkhana, which was originally looked upon as a fantastic form of amusement, not worthy to be taken at all seriously, has undoubtedly gained some ground of late. It has not, and probably never will, become a serious rival of contests which have obtained the greater popularity, such as hill-climbs, etc., and many people are disposed, even now, to regard it as somewhat of a joke.
Most people have very hazy notions regarding the holding of gymkhanas of this kind, and to enlighten them we have prepared a summary of events which could be made to constitute the program for such an affair. The program consists of ten events, among them the following:
Potato Race. For Cyclists. Competitors are given a certain number of potatoes and have to drop one in each of a similar number of flower pots placed at intervals round the track. In the event of a potato falling outside the pot, the competitor to dismount and place same in, resuming his journey to the next pot, until he has disposed of all the potatoes handed to him. He then continues, and has to pick each potato up, returning to the starting point. The first competitor home wins, provided he returns to the judge all his potatoes.
See Saw Race. For Motorcyclists. At intervals around the track planks are placed, balanced over bricks. Competitors on being started, have to ride to plank, straight over same without dropping off plank, back to starting point, where they have to pick an apple from a bucket while on their knees, hands behind back, without in any way touching the bucket. Resuming their journey round track, over planks once more, they have to stop at winning post between two lines. First home wins.
Tilting at the Ring. For Motorcyclists. Suitably sized rings to be suspended on hooks which are hung at the end of cords from cross bars at various points round the track. Each competitor should be handed a lance or bamboo rod, not too stiff for preference. He has to ride round, endeavoring to secure as many rings as possible. In this event there should be a time limit, competitors exceeding same to be disqualified. Competitor who has the most rings at the finish to be winner. In the event of a tie, the faster competitor to win.
Needle Threading Race. For Motorcyclists. Competitors start riding part round the track, stop, pick a needle from table, proceed for further distance, taking up piece of thread from table, return to starting place, where they hand a needle to lady, she holding same while competitor threads it (holding his machine). On threading needle, take some from lady, and ride once round track to judge. First competitor home, with needle properly threaded, takes the prize.
Medley Race for Motorcyclists. This event is usually shown on the program by whatever club is running the event, as their medley for motorcycles. Competitors must run their engines for about a minute before starting in this event, so that they are fairly warm. On being told to start, each competitor rides to a point, picks up wrench from table, then proceeding to starting place, where each takes out his spark plug and runs with same in his hand to center of track, where he changes it for another (points of which latter have been carefully closed together by the secretary, without the competitor’s knowledge). They are then handed a garment in a bundle of clothes which they have to put on, run back to the machine, place the changed plug in position firmly, ride on to a point where a lady awaits them, who ties a sash around competitor’s waist while competitor ties a ribbon which she hands him, round her neck, and then proceed on to winning post. The first home wins. Sparking plugs to be tight to satisfaction of judge before and after this event. In all events there should be a rule that the engine must propel the cycle throughout, and that pedaling be not allowed beyond a certain distance, say 10 yards. – Motorcycle Illustrated. June 15, 1910.