Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Feeling of Freedom

When I attended Daytona Bike Week this year, I was pleasantly surprised at the volume of women riders.  History will tell us this occurrence is not a new spectacle, but it's definitely a refreshing visual.  As the weather in New York is unseasonably warm - to the naked eye - one could plainly see the shifting of the gears as a growing number of female bikers are taking the handlebars and revving up the engines.  There is no denying that the unique sound of a Harley-Davidson is music to the biker aficionado, however - most especially so - the sound becomes luxuriating with female riders. In baseball, "Chicks dig the long ball." In the biker world - who doesn't dig a chick who digs bikes?

As it turns out, women have had a long and enduring love for the four wheelers.  So, let's acknowledge some of the most important pioneers who felt the call of the open road and paved the way for the modern-day female biker-enthusiast.  They were beautiful and independent women who soared above the boundaries placed on women of the era, and became an important part of motorcycle lore.

"New York 'society girls' Adeline and Augusta Van Buren (descendants of our 8th president) dreamed of serving the country by being motorcycle dispatch riders.  They were the first women to make the transcontinental journey on separate motorcycles.  In 1914, they set out on a cross-country trek from Brooklyn to LA and were often arrested for wearing men's clothing."

"Louise Scherbyn was concerned about the effect riding would have on her reputation as she traveled extensively all over the USA and Canada.  She was reportedly the first American woman to reach the far north, Timagami Forest of Canada."

"Linda Dugeau was a pioneering motorcyclist who founded the Motor Maids, the oldest motorcycling organization for women in North America, in 1940 - with 51 charter members. She worked as a motorcycle courier and had a reputation as one of the best female off-road riders in 1950s."

"Dorothy 'Dot' Robinson the 'first lady of motorcycling' was the other co-founder of the Motor Maids.  She paved the way for women riders in the competitive arena.  In founding the Motor Maids Inc., Dot set out to unite women riders, to show that you could ride a motorcycle and still be a lady."

"Bessie Stringfield was the first African American woman to ride cross-country.  She busted through social and racial barriers as one of the earliest and bravest women motorcycle riders. She served as a civilian courier for the US Army during WWII, carrying documents between domestic army bases.  During the four years she worked for the Army, she crossed the United States eight times."

Riding a motorcycle is a pure enjoyment as well as an inexpensive and environmentally sound way to travel and commute. With cars prices beyond the means of many - a byproduct of an economy in despair - commuting by motorcycle has taken a preponderant role. 

Two wheelers stimulate the soul and nothing could be more pleasant to the eye than female bikers.  There's something to be said about the sexy nature in which a woman rides her motorcycle -particularly, if she rides with passion and exudes an air of confidence.  What a visual - a woman biker who makes her bike roar and takes the rapture of the road "Mano a Mano." To me, that is motorcycling to the extreme.  


Geo Ginrosge
Email: Ginrosge@yahoo.com