The Motor Maids Motorcycle Organization
Russ Brown Injury Attorneys: How do you have a heck of a lot of fun, set an example, honor your history, uphold tradition, and cover ground proudly? Girl, climb on a motorcycle! That’s how the Motor Maids do it. The group is made up of many types of women, but every one of them is passionate about riding, safety and fun.
Motor Maids, Incorporated was established in 1940, by two ladies who wanted to make it easier for females to ride. (And safer! Before that time, the few women on cycles were often harassed!)
The women who rode motorcycles before Motor Maids came into being had to be even more brave than skilled. They fought the prevailing prejudices of the time, that “nice girls don’t ride bikes,” and every pioneer female rider had stories of being run off the road, or hassled. One female rider was arrested on an early 1900’s cross-country trek, for “wearing men’s clothes!”
Linda Dugeau learned to ride a motorcycle in 1932, and the tours she took were so daring that they began showing up as stories in Motorcyclist magazine. By 1938, she began working to set up a national network of female motorcyclists — not just ladies who rode in sidecars, but women who owned and rode their own cycles. The late 1930s was still a rough time for females, and cycle-riding ladies were rare — it took three years of organizing, for Linda and her friend Dot Robinson to find enough female riders to organize The Motor Maids. The organization was chartered in 1941.
Linda didn’t like the spotlight, so she stayed in the background as the international vice president while Dot served as president for 25 years. Dot was as dedicated to makeup and fashion as she was to riding, and she logged about 50,000 miles a year promoting the image of the Motor Maids and female riders. More than seven decades later, Motor Maids are still committed to safety and cycle education, and about 1200 women are members of the Motor Maids family. What does it take to be a Motor Maid? Female riders can join, if you meet the requirements: you have to own a motorcycle, or have access through a family member; you have to ride that cycle; and you must present a positive image of women motorcyclists.
Harleys, Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas, Ducatis, BMWs, Indians, Triumphs, Victorys, Vagabonds — the bikes are as diverse as the riders.
Dot passed away in late 1999, and Linda passed away four months later, in February of 2000. Their creation, Motor Maids, is the first women’s motorcycling organization in North America, and it’s the longest continuously-operated women’s cycling association. (That’s “longest,” guys — ladies don’t say “oldest!”) Now more than a thousand women in North America belong to Motor Maids, Inc., and the membership grows every year. The national conventions each July are in different districts across the country: this year’s convention will be in South Carolina, and 2013 is set for Oregon!
It is women like Linda and Dot that opened the road ahead for all of us so we can share the road and the feeling of freedom motorcycling brings. This year the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® and Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame are partnering to bring rally goers a special new exhibit called “Paving the Way” – The women of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. This exhibit will showcase the women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame , historic women’s riding memorabilia, bikes and gear over the years. The exhibit will be featured at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip and a part of the Biker Belles™ charity event. If you would like to celebrate these and other wonderful women in our lives, please join us Wednesday August 8th
. For more information please visit www.bikerbelles.com or call 605-347-9000
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys
Fighting for injured bikers for over thirty years. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident make sure you have a motorcycle lawyer who will fight for you on the road and in the court room.