" A History of Side Hack Dirt Track Racing in the Mid-Atlantic"
-In the words of former sidehack racer Imre Baka-
It was before the turn of the previous century that the first one wheeled attachment was affixed to one of the very early motorcycles. Later in 1903 a patent was granted to a John Graham of Middlesex in England. A motorcycle with an attached third wheel is sometimes called a Combination, a Rig, or a Hack. Since cars were very expensive in those days, they became very popular in continental Europe mainly in Germany. A company named Steib became the biggest manufacturers of sidecars, and they still hold that position to this day. It wasn't long after the first hack got bolted to the side of a motorcycle that owners of these rigs wanted to race them, and realized that if the passenger transfers his weight to the inside of the turn, the turn could be negotiated a lot faster. So the Mitfarerer, or Monkey was born. Many years later a man who ran TT Cycle in Rockville, Maryland, acquired a 1969 Triumph Trident. The year was 1971, after riding it on the street, for a time, and damn near killing himself he decided to build a hack, and race it. He was already racing solo motorcycles, and since he wasn't too good at it, he thought he give sidehacks a try. From looking at pictures he built a hack of his own design from square tubing, using a Honda wheel. From drawings he figured out that the motorcycle had to lean a few degrees toward the Hack, and the hack's wheel has to have a little toe-in toward the motorcycle in order to handle right. The rig was tried in the parking lot in front of the shop. However on right hand turns the hack always came up in the air. Imre asked several of his friends to be the required ballast in the hack, but after a couple laps around the parking lot, all declined further participation. Junebug (George Offut) the apprentice kid wanted to try to ride the sidehack. Imba gave him a try after he explained what was required of him. He impressed on Junebug, if he ever bailed out at the first sign of danger, and if Imba lives through the incident he would kill him, if he should die, he would haunt Junebug for the rest of his life. Junegug turned out to be an excellent monkey. The sidehack was introduced at Green's Raceway, and it impressed everyone. Several Flat Track racers built hacks from scratch, Billy Heygster, John Routheir, Gerry Tanzie, Leroy Abernathy. Others came to Imba and copied his hack, but opted to put it on the right side. A month or two later there were four hacks in the class with some reluctant monkeys. They were well received by the spectators who enjoyed the sidehacks, and on occasion it was spectacular. Like when Imba, and Junebug crashed at Winchester. Junebug stayed in the hack until it was completely upside down, and gravity took over. Another spectacular crash was at Dorsey Speedway when Imba's inexperienced monkey, Wesley, fell out of the hack, causing Imba to cash into the wall destroying the whole rig, but no one was seriously injured. I sincerely want to thank all those who followed my lead with such enthusiasm and put sidehack racing in Dist. 7's list of events. I don't know about you all, but I sure had fun!
Click on photo below to view the "Side Hack Album"