Whenever there’s a discussion about who is America’s best road racer of all time, Cal Rayborn’s name inevitably is mentioned. Rayborn won 11 AMA nationals during his relatively short seven-year professional racing career. Ten of those victories came on road racing courses, making him easily the top American road racer of his era.
He also set two 1970 motorcycle land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, Rayborn piloted a Harley-Davidson Sportster-based streamliner to a new American and International record of 265.492 mph.
He accomplished a tremendous feat when he competed in the Trans-Atlantic Match Races in England in 1972. The Trans-Atlantic Match Races pitted the best British riders against the top American road racers. On an outdated motorcycle with no experience on British race tracks, Rayborn won three of the six races
Get this... he got started riding motorcyles as a blueprint delivery courier.
He began riding motorcycles when he was just 8 years old. One of Rayborn’s first jobs was working as a motorcycle delivery rider after school and during the summer. The teenaged Rayborn built up thousands of miles of riding, as he put it, "as fast as I could, because that’s how you made money in that business."
Like a bike messenger, but working for an architecture company, who wanted those revised blueprints on the job site, from the drawing board, pronto. And that was in San Diego in the booming mid 1950s, where he didn't have a lot of traffic to deal with, but he didn't want to stop in downtown gridlock stoplights.
Rayborn met another future Hall of Famer, Don Vesco, at a local drag race in the late 1950s and the two became good friends. They would travel to the races together and Vesco tuned some of the bikes Rayborn raced.