2023 Inductee: Veteran Road & Track Competitor (Birth date unknown, Raced 1918-1932)
Competing from 1918 to 1932, George Chapman is considered to have been the greatest US motorpace racing champion ever, with seven consecutive American Professional Motorpace Championships to his name from 1920 to 1926. Championships of this era were determined by season-long competition or by a series of select events. At least one of Chapman’s championships was won out of a season of 24 races.
Each pedaling at high speed just inches behind a motorcycle, motorpace riders raced distances of 50 miles or 100 kilometers at
speeds averaging 30 miles per hour with bursts of speed to over 60 miles per hour. Races included top international and national professional champions and attracted crowds of more than 18,000 spectators eager to witness the danger and glamor of some of the most popular bike racing of the time.
In 1926, Chapman was one of six professional cyclists in the world to have a Spalding trading card made, along with Hall of Famers Bobby Walthour Jr. and Freddie Spencer, and US Champion Arthur Spencer – a great honor considering that other trading cards of the time included legends such as Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey and Joe Lewis.
- 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926 Professional Motorpace Champion of America
- 1926 Race of Nations, 1st
- 1928 Worlds Cycling Derby, 1st
- 1930 Worlds Derby, 1st
- Golden Wheel, 1st
Photos courtesy of Jeff Groman