Ray Seymour, 17-year-old Marvel

Ray Seymour was widely seen as the top amateur motorcycle racer in America during 1909. This image was created from microfilm of a newspaper photo originally published in the August 4, 1909, Indianapolis News in the days leading up to the first motorized competition at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 14, 1909. The caption associated with the photograph read as follows:
" Among the army of celebrated motorcycle race riders now headed for Indianapolis to participate in the motor speedway races next week is Raymond Seymour, the boy wonder of Los Angeles. He is now enroute to this city. The Los Angeles Herald, of July 5, has the following to say of Seymour:
Ray Seymour, the 17-year-old boy of Los Angeles, yesterday afternoon at the Fiesta stadium proved to possess the material of which daredevils are made, and is one of those finds in the younger generation of riders among whom future world's championships may be looked for. Although he did not threaten any standing records, he demonstrated that he has that species of pluck and nerve necessary to a successful motorcycle rider and his performance yesterday substantiates what has been said in these columns before - that, as the motorcycle game grows a little older there will be many young men and even raw boys who will learn to develop that mania for the spotlight to the extent of excelling the performances, once considered remarkable, of those occupying the center of the stage. The best performance of the day for Seymour was a mile in :58 (seconds) flat, which, considering the boy's immature years, is nothing short of spectacular. This time was made in an exhibition mile, during every inch of which he kept the hair of spectators on straight edge, at one point in particular, giving so daring a ride, when the hind wheel of his machine skidded badly, that he caused the crowd to rise to its feet and cheer him lustily.
Later in the day, in another trial against the watch, young Seymour practically repeated this performance by riding two miles in 1:56.2, just one-tenth of a second per mile slower than that of the one-mile exhibition. "
Seymour, who lived in California, rode with the Reading-Standard team. He had an excellent career winning numerous races with several different factory teams including Indian. He was one of the lucky riders who survived his racing career to enter the business side of the motorcycle industry.
Check out the following links for further mention of Ray Seymour, found elsewhere on First Super Speedway:

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