Motorcyclists who have been dubbed the 'Paris Wild Ones' are calling for the French Government to give them a regular circuit on which they can hold their own particular form of free style racing.
Motorcyclists who have been dubbed the 'Paris Wild Ones' are calling for the French Government to give them a regular circuit on which they can hold their own particular form of free style racing. Since 1972 thousands of young motorcyclists have been using Rungis, a Paris vegetable market, for their night-time racing. But in the past five years 17 people have died in accidents there, and many more have been injured. Now the so called 'Wild Ones' want a venue where they can control the races, and on Friday (14 October) they massed in a big demonstration to back their demands.
SYNOPSIS: More than a thousand young motorcyclists gathered at Rungis, their usual racing venue, before riding on to the Place de la Concorde to make their demands to the Government. Their orderly procession was very different from their usual Friday night races, which one French newspaper called "Russian roulette with a motorbike accelerator as the trigger". At Rungis the improved track has no safety precautions, there are no run-offs, and the only crash barriers are those formed by the many young spectators who crowds around the track to watch.
Often as many motorcyclists as are seen in this procession turn up at Rungis for the Friday night races, held when the markets are at their emptiest. Bikes of all sort, from the high-powered super models to those that are barely roadworthy, career around the course which is often strewn with vegetable refuse and crossed by occasional market vans. Police watch, but have no power to interfere. The motorcyclists went to Rungis after being evicted from other sites in Paris, and have been asking for their own circuit for some time.
Now they have formed their own association to fight for a permanent circuit One of their leaders who spoke at the demonstration said they were entitled to drive their bikes in Paris, but if they continued at Rungis they would continue killing themselves. He said races could be better organised and less dangerous at a permanent course.