July is a month filled with different rides and events for female bikers. Whether you are participating in the Women on Wheels Ride In, the Women’s Sportbike Rally West, the ADVWoman Rendezvous, the North Dakota Ladies Motorcycle Run, the Women’s Motorcycle Tours, or another event, it is important to remember the women who first got on their bikes and helped make motorcycling possible for the women who enjoy it today.
Effie Hotchkiss Is One Female Biker You Want to Know About
In 1915, 26-year-old Effie Hotchkiss found a way to make her dreams come true. She was tired of her life as a Wall Street clerk and eager to do something different. After spending a small inheritance on a three-speed Harley V-Twin, she made a decision.
Effie decided to travel cross country—from New York City to San Francisco—by motorcycle. No woman before her had made the journey by bike, but on May 2, 2015, Effie got on her motorcycle with her mother in the bike’s sidecar and the women started their historic journey.
The trip took more than two months—and it was not easy. The roads were not all paved and finding gas stations could be difficult. However, Effie was prepared. She made her own repairs along the journey and navigated her way to San Francisco and then back to New York City. She averaged about 150 miles per day and returned to Brooklyn in October 1915, after traveling through many states—including Iowa.
Effie didn’t make the trip for the money and was not bankrolled by any company. When asked why she made this trip, she reportedly said that she wanted to show that, “motorcycling is perfectly good as a girl’s sport.”
Effie was clearly right—motorcycling is a great activity for women and men. We hope it is one that you will enjoy safely this summer, whether you are embarking on a big trip like Effie did or you are riding your bike in your own community.