Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Carroll was practically raised in the backyard of the giant Hendee Manufacturing Company factory. At twelve, Teddy rode his first "gasoline-fired" two-wheeler and mastered the "run, push, and jump-on style" necessary to get the clutchless cycles underway. As a biographer later recalled: "Many a tumble he took in the dust, but more than anything else, Teddy was determined to ride."
By age 15 Teddy was driving an Indian Tricar van making deliveries for a laundry and then later for a department store.
In 1912 he bought his first machine, a 7 horse-power Indian Twin and entered a series of Board Track races at the local Springfield Stadium (pictured below) built in 1909.
Board Track racing was extremely dangerous, as the riders wore virtually no protective clothing, the machines had no brakes or suspension, and they depended on skinny skid-prone tires while race speeds crept ever closer to 100 mph. In the event of a crash the best a rider could hope for was a body full of long and infection-prone splinters.
Plenty of riders came off far worse for their adventures. Then in 1914 Teddy Carroll realized his dream by landing a job in the testing room at the Indian (Hendee) factory.
In September, Carroll ran 2nd behind Carl Goudy in the famous 300-mile Chicago board track event, and in a follow-up 100-mile race in Milwaukee the Springfield rider again placed 2nd, this time behind H-Doctorate"s, Leslie "Red" Parkhurst.
And although the sport of motorcycle racing continued on, Board Track racing fell out of favor due to the carnage of both rider and spectator, and by the early 1930s it had become a footnote in motorsport history.