Present day residents of Converse would find it hard to believe that Converse was the home town of motorcycle racing's early star. Ray Creviston first began his career on the Converse Fairgrounds half mile track in 1912. He disappointed local fans by not appearing at the Converse Fairgrounds in 1914, but set the one mile world record in July at St. Louis. His racing career had begun to gather momentum and he responded to the challenges of the next decade. This was in an era when motorcycle racing was almost a blood sport and the best tracks were wooden half milers as seen in the photo. The riders had little protection and if you hit the track, the consequences could be deadly.
Creviston's motorcycle skills were excellent and his shy understated manners belied his performance on the track which were a mix of pure strategy and nerve. His strategy was to ride behind the pace cycle lap after lap, waiting for that split second in which to make his winning move. Racing for the Indian Motorcycle Company, he was Indian's best promotion against Harley-Davidson in the early years of motorcycle racing. As the early years of motorcycle racing began to fade, Creviston caught the wave of interest in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Ray Creviston returned to the town that launched his fame and farmed almost a mile due north of the fairgrounds. He had done it all and preferred anonymity. As an automobile driver it was reported that he seldom drove above 30. The roar of motorcycles, acclaim of the crowds, speed records, an international legend... were experienced in a way that only Ray Creviston understood.
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