malcolm smith

50 Years of On Any Sunday: The ISDT in El Escorial, Spain

malcolm smith
Malcolm with a chest full of ISDT medals he won over the years.

Malcom Smith and Bruce Brown travel to Spain to race

Bruce and Malcolm traveled together to the 1970 International Six Days Trail in El Escorial, Spain – Malcolm’s fourth ISDT. There was no camera crew this time, just Bruce’s simple, hand-held unit. 

“Bruce and I got along really well,” Malcolm told me during prep for his autobiography, “and had some fun on the Spain trip. He and I pretty much went our separate ways during the day. I had my riding and prep work to do, and he had his shooting, and I only remember seeing him once during the riding portion of the event. It was on a rocky downhill with switchbacks. After I passed him and he waved, I got to the bottom, looked up, and waved back. That was it.”

Malcolm Smith (242) at a checkpoint during the 45th ISDT in El Escorial, Spain. Malcolm remembers temperatures being really cold and said his fingers went numb on several occasions.

Each evening, their routine was a bit different, as everything pretty much closed down for a two- or three-hour siesta. No restaurants were open, or any other businesses, really. Most Spaniards don’t eat until 10 pm, so after Malcolm was done riding in the afternoons he and Bruce would grab a nap at the hotel and wake up at 9:00 or 9:30 for supper.

During those meals, Bruce would talk about all the good spots he’d found to shoot, one of which he was extra excited about. “Bruce told me he’d gotten a shot of a local Spaniard eating grapes while watching the race,” Malcolm told me, “and of course it made the movie. He really liked that one. Spain was a big deal for me, and not only because I won my third gold medal. The big reason was Bruce’s presence. He had such a great sense of humor; we had a great time together.”

This is Part 5 of a 10-part series Thunder Press is publishing throughout January to celebrate On Any Sunday.

Read Part 1 HERE

Read Part 2 HERE

Read Part 3 HERE

Read Part 4 HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *