The motorcycle didn’t spring full-blown into this sector. Rather, it evolved from the earlier bicycle. Women loved bicycles for the mobility and freedom they allowed. In fact, Susan B. Anthony said, “The bicycle does more for the emancipation of women than other things that are in the world.”
In the 1880s, bicycles were a huge novelty. Then, in 1885, Gottlieb Daimler made one that had a locomotive. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t a bicycle, because it had four wheels instead of two. Two were safety wheels. This bike went a magnificent and stately 12 miles per 60 minutes.
An idea was born, and soon other motorized bicycles were invented. Possibly the first true motorcycle would be a charcoal fired two -wheeler made in 1869 by Sylvester Roper of Ma.
Within two decades, motorcycles were being mass-produced. The first such bike was the Orient-Aster, which was that is caused by the Metz Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. This state clearly loved its exercise bikes. Another early cycle was the beloved Indian, made by the Hendee Manufacturing Company in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Later, the organization changed its name to Indian Motorcycles.)
In 1902, Harley Davidson sold its first three motorcycles, and soon there are dozens of manufacturers. They’d names like Marvel, Exelsior, and Henderson. The Depression killed off all but Indian and Harley, and very only Harley remained.
Women enjoyed the motorcycles as much as they’d enjoyed bikes. After all, they were economical and fun. They also did not have the stigma that they acquired later. Early riders were seen as adventuresome, not as outlaws.
In 1915, Indian motorcycles offered front and rear shocks. Since these cushioned the ride, people begin to consider long-distance travel being a real option. That year, a mother-daughter team, Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, rode from New York to San Franciso. They didn’t take the direct route. Instead, they meandered about, covering 5,000 miles.
The next year, two society women in their 20s, sisters Adeline and Augusta Van Buren bought a pair of Indian Powerplus Motorcycles. They were the first people ever to ascend and down Pike’s Peak. They, too, completed a transcontinental ride. Their 3,300-mile trip took almost two months, in addition they had to contend not only with many unpaved roads, but additionally with social mores. Once they were arrested for publicly wearing trousers.
In the 1920s, Harley published a novel called The Fan. It sponsored Vivian Wales on a 5000 mile trip to a Harley facility. Another early motorcycle heroine was Bessie Stringfield, a.k.a. the Motorcycle Queen of Miami . She made 8 solo-cross country trips and the motorcycle dispatch motorcycle rider.
Bessie had started off with two strikes against her: she was a woman and she was African-American. At first, she couldn’t even get a motorcycle license in Miami, Florida. However, police officers interceded in her behalf.
Motorcycles were also used in wartime, which gave them a lot of public exposure. About 20,000 Harleys were put to use during the WWI. They were ridden by couriers, soldiers, and others.
As motorcycle popularity grew, it only agreed to be natural that men and women became highly skilled in its make use of. They showed off these skills in motordromes, that have been around with regards to turn of the century but grew in popularity during the 1930s. A motordrome often advertised itself as “A Wall of Death.”
Essentially, it was a giant barrel along with a platform on top for viewers. They could look down on motorcyclists, who sped around the associated with the walls, trapped in place by centrifugal force. One associated with early daredevils was Margaret Gast, who billed herself as “The Mile a moment Gal.” She wasn’t the only woman daredevil. May Williams and Jean Perry also performed during the walls.
By 1940, the united states had its first women’s motorcyle club, The Motormaids. Today, there are countless such clubs. Anyone who wants more data the history of women and motorcycles may want to check the actual book Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles, and the Rapture of the Correct path. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read several descriptions of it and seen the table of message. It looks like fun.
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