Charles Verkeyn was born in Bredene, but his horizons soon extended beyond the North Sea. As a teenager he moved to Paris, where he became a professional cyclist. He crossed the ocean in the 1920s to make a name for himself in the United States in stayer competitions with the name of The Flying Belgian. He competed in the 1927 World Cycling Derby at the Providence Cycledrome, an open cycling track and American football stadium in the city of the same name in the state of Rhode Island. On the trophy it says Verkeyn set the track record. It took him 1 hour and 23 minutes to cover 100 kilometres behind the powerful motorbike. This means that he was speeding down the track at 72.29 kilometres an hour. Victor Linart proved that it could be done even faster. In the same year he became world champion of middle-distance racing in Elberfeld, Germany. He hit an average speed of 87.32 kilometres an hour.