Motorcycling publications from around the world have devoted pages to the history of the Peoria Motorcycle Club. Fans from all over the country and the world, have traveled to Peoria to attend our races. Peoria TT races were featured on national television, back when ABC’s Wide World of Sports broadcast certain events from the Camel Pro Series. One of the most gratifying (although “short but sweet”) recognitions we’ve ever had, is the mention we received in the classic motorcycle film, On Any Sunday, as the story followed Grand National racer, Mert Lawwill, across the country in his pursuit of a championship.
Motorcycle racing is a demanding sport that takes a lot of physical AND mental toughness. Racers don’t have real long careers at the professional level – maybe 15 to 20 years – before the next generation steps up to take over. While that may be hard to swallow for racers, it’s great for race fans. There’s a steady turnover of talent and it seems like there’s always someone new to cheer for on race day. Over the years, a lot of great motorcycle racers have come and gone. Some of the best have taken their licks and earned their stripes on the famous Peoria TT.
After all the years and legions of racers, the 5/8 mile Peoria TT track is the one thing that remains constant. Every generation of racer has a chance to test their skills on this track. They discover how much nerve it takes to hit top speed down the long, front stretch before pitching their bike into turn one. They also learn to overcome the fear of a blind landing, as they approach the jump at speed. On the flip-side, every generation of spectator has a chance to learn their way around the grounds. They explore tree-covered hillsides (which form a natural amphitheater) in order to find their favorite viewing spot. They also locate all the concession stands, restrooms and novelty food vendors, to make personal comfort a priority. It’s funny… as much as some things change, others never do.
When you think about things that have come about in the world over the last 90+ years, Peoria Motorcycle Club has outlasted many of them. That’s quite a tribute to our people as individuals, and to our club as an organization. Wow . . . 90+ YEARS!