The Wall of Death is an experience that will last with you forever. Seeing the motorbikes scale the walls and fly past you at 40mph with the tyres only inches away from you is not something you get to see every day! The Fox family have been blowing the minds of crowds for nearly a century and in many respects, the show will not have changed that much. They still have vintage Indian Scouts from the 20’s, which they still put them through their paces and they are still defying gravity and risking their lives for the cheers of the crowd. Its longevity is a clear testament to the quality of the show.
The Wall of Death is a predominantly family run business, Ken Fox, his wife and their children are all involved. On the day I visited, Ken’s son, Luke was running the show, riding the wall with his partner Kerri and Ken Wolfe.
After you have been lured in by the calls from the front man, you buy your ticket and take the stairs up to the top edge of the ring, as the show is about to start the anticipation grows, the light is dim under the circus canopy, the wooden door slams shut and the experience begins.
As the first bike fires up, the most noticeable thing is the noise, bikes are loud, but with the wooden walls and canvas overhead, the roar of the engines is ferocious! As the bike starts going up the wall, people jaws start to drop. The weight of the bikes makes the structure sway and the slats of wood chatter furiously as the bike roars around the edge. This is just the warm up!
The entire show involves a go cart, stunts (one of which is riding side saddle while not holding on) and three bikes on the wall at once. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s an action-packed show that will leave you feeling quite overwhelmed!
As with all great performers, they make it look easy, but the reality of riding a vintage bike around a wall with no safety gear on requires an incredible amount of skill and practice. If you can trail your eyes away from the riders for a brief moment and take a look at others in the crowd, then that is well worth doing. The joy on people’s faces experiencing the show is fantastic and must be hugely rewarding to the riders!
If you ever have the chance to go and see the show, then do, even if it’s at an event that doesn’t interest you, the admission fee will easily be worth it! For more details on the show and the events that they will be at, visit their sites here and here.
Oh, and if you fancy joining the team, then they are now recruiting, get in touch with them for more details!