Friday, May 11, 2012

Women Riders Month

Since May is Women Riders Month, here are a few highlighted women of motorcycling history:

Adeline and Augusta Van Buren: Rode from New York to California on 1916 Indian motorcycles. They became the first women motorcyclists to make a coast to coast journey solo on two individual motorcycles.

Bessie Stringfield: Broke both racial and gender barriers by completing 8 individual transcontinental tours and serving in the U.S. Army as a dispatch rider.

Dorothy "Dot" Robinson: A pioneer for women motorcyclists, she is known as the "First Lady of Motorcycling". She established the Motor Maids in 1940 with Linda Dugeau. The organization united women that owned motorcycles. In 1941 the American Motorcycle Association chartered the club and it became the first organized women’s motorcycle club. Robinson competed in many races and became the first woman to win an AMA national competition.

Annie Seel: Known as "The Rally Princess", she is a Swedish born motorcycle rider. She currently is leading the female entry fields, and placed 40th in total motorcycle standings. She competed in 4 Dakar Rallies, but also competes in Supermoto and road racing.

Becky Brown: Becky, as many others, wanted to find other women to ride with. In 1979 she placed an ad in her local paper to ask women to organize riding with her. She is credited with starting Women in the Wind. It has grown to an organization of over 1,000 people in more than 70 chapters in North America. Each of the chapters is allowed to act as an individual. They have raised thousands of dollars for multiple charities. She contributed to writing in Iron Trader News, IronWorks, Harley Women Magazine and Biker Ally. Ann Ferrar featured Brown as a highlighted character in her book, "Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles and the Rapture of the Road". She was also featured in the documentary "She Lives to Ride".

Hazel Kolb: At the age of 53 she rode the perimeter of the continental United States, or "four corners," in 80 days. The distance totaled 14,464 miles, in honor of her late husband, Jack. Hazel was awarded trophies from Jay Leno, Malcolm Forbes and The Motor Maids.

Happy Mother's Day to all those momma riders!

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