When I see (or hear) a Harley I immediately think “Freedom” and until recently, the image of a tough guy in black leather popped to mind. Today that image was changed when I discovered fantastic stories of pioneer women riders who have paved the way for other women to take the drivers seat of a big Hog.
The first and oldest women’s motorcycle organization, Motor Maids, has thousands of members. This organization is dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of motorcycle riding and work continuously to promote a positive image of women riders since the 1940’s.
Even earlier than that in 1916, two girls in their 20’s named Gussie and Addie Van Buren set out on a journey that would take them 2 months and 5500 miles on Indian Power Plus motorcycles. Before women could vote, before the interstate system even existed… women were expressing their independent spirit riding across the United States. In fact, the Van Buren sisters’ desire to serve their country motivated their journey and so they set out to prove that women could ride as dispatchers for the military prior to WWI.
The Van Buren sisters’ ride took them across dirt roads, remote locations… through treacherous weather conditions and terrain and even to the summit of Pikes Peak. (Read about their induction to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002).
As I drive the winding roads of the Ozark Mountains, I will take a moment to reflect on these spirited women and who knows…maybe I will be inspired to to find a SuperLow Hog and express my independence.
International Female Ride Day is May 6th.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas is located near the famous Pig Trail. In fact, Eureka Springs’ location is central to this and many of the most scenic rides in Arkansas and the Boston Mountains of the Ozark Mountain Region. Spring is one of the best times to ride as banks of the road are covered in native wildflowers. Curves, switchbacks, hairpin turns with short straights between them and drop-offs to mountain streams make the ride challenging and exhilarating. Discover area rides and motorcycle events before visiting. Find area lodging and other attractions in the Greater Eureka Springs Region.