My Nemesis…

For the past week or so I’ve been preoccupied with a side project (obsession?) concerning the digitization of my 6-day bike race program collection. Here’s a preliminary peak at one of the pages, still a work in progress. 6-day program for a 1939 event in Madison Square GardenI’ve scanned the covers of about 20 programs and will also likely have a complete chronology of every six-day event held in the US (from 1899-1973, although heavily concentrated in the 1920s-1930s), plus a rogue’s gallery of rider photos and bios. My collection is certainly modest, but I’d undoubtedly have many, many more programs in my possession if it were not for the existence of my eBay arch-enemy: the appropriately monikered sixday, my personal Newman. If I lived in the NYC metropolitan area it would probably be possible to scrounge antique dealers or estate auctions and come across 6-day programs/memorabilia/photos (since approximately seventy 6-day events took place in NYC), but living in a region devoid of cycling history requires me to peruse eBay on a regular basis. sixday has deep pockets and enviously keen sleuthing prowess, an uncanny ability to unearth 6-day related items from the breadth of eBay. I’ve been on the losing end of far too many auctions, but I’m not made of money. Who is this mysterious fellow? What is he doing with his steady influx of 6-day, eBay booty? I have a vivid mental picture of sixday reminiscent of the Steve Buscemi character in Ghost World, the mordantly unhip Seymour alight with an obsession for 78rpm records. At the very least I hope he’s taking good care of the material, but the budding archivist in me hopes that he’s considered making his collection accessible to fans of cycling history (or one particular devotee…mainly, me). Well, that’s just the bitterness talking. I’m sure I’d enjoy picking his sixday brain over a few beers, probably coming to the conclusion that we’ve lead remarkably similar lives.

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