Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq motorbike trials in malta
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Bikers without crash helmets on Malta’s garigue

Description

It seems almost unthinkable today.

This footage from the PBS Archives shows competitors taking part in motorcycle obstacle courses in the Maltese countryside without wearing crash helmets or safety gear.

The event would be split into sections where a competitor rides through an obstacle course while trying to avoid touching the ground with his feet.

In all sections, the designated route would be carefully contrived to test the skill of the rider.

At the end of each event, the fastest biker to complete the course with the fewest penalty points would be declared the winner.

The sport is most popular in Britain and Spain, though there are participants around the world.

Holding such an event on Malta’s garigue today is outlawed.

The landscape is a protected habitat and should not even be walked on. Signs show the restrictions that are now in force.

Garigue can be found across the Maltese Islands, especially near cliff edges in places like Marfa, Mellieha and Dingli, as well as parts of Gozo and Comino.

The rocky pocked surfaces are filled with soil that allows a multitude of wild herbs, flowers and shrubs to flourish, such as Giant Fennel, Maltese Spurge and wild Mediterranean Thyme.

The trees and shrubs are usually evergreen and typical of the warm and dry climates found in the Mediterranean region.

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