Take the time to watch this short film about the Ken Fox “Hell Riders” Wall of Death troupe. Beautifully shot and edited, filmmaker Benedict Campbell created a touching portrait of a very dangerous and unconventional family business.
I originally found out about the Wall of Death while skateboarding in Seattle. We used to go to this spot under the University Bridge that had a giant bank that was skateable. The city has since cemented stones in it, rendering it useless:
There’s a strange sculpture down there called “The Wall of Death” that most people just think is ugly, has a scary name, and don’t understand the significance of:
Admittedly, I thought the same thing. After going there a number of times, I finally found a plaque that explained the creamsicle colored monstrosity. Now that I understand it, I appreciate it. The piece is an homage to the board track racers and carnival riders that used to race up these rickety ramps and walls at the amazement of onlookers. I remember going home, researching it, and finding this awesome photo:
This was all back when I was just starting to really fall in love with motorcycles. I was totally fascinated by the spectacle. Still am. You can read more at Sidecar Pete’s (who originally found and scanned the above photo). Also be sure to check out the late Sam Morgan’s Thrillarena for more excellent pictures, information, and history.
Video via Hell For Leather.