Magazine article The Spectator

Double Trouble

Magazine article The Spectator

Double Trouble

Article excerpt

There's courage, there's fearlessness, and then there's the sort of sublime audacity you need to do something like sidecar racing. Stan Dibben, 87, has it in spades. He won the world sidecar championships in 1953, still whizzes around the racetrack today and is the subject of a beautiful short documentary film by Cabell Hopkins, No Ordinary Passenger.

Sidecar racing is terrifying to watch. The passenger - the nondriver - has to hurl himself from one side of the three-wheeled bike to the other as it zooms around corners; his head is often inches from the tarmac. Mistakes are disastrous.

Stan Dibben got into this crazy sport after the war. 'I was told to make my mind up,' he recalls.

'Did I want to be a wireman or an insulation man? And I said:

"Oh, to hell with it, I wanna ride motorbikes. …

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