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This page is dedicated to Cris Sommer Simmons
09-15-2010, 01:27 AM (This post was last modified: 09-15-2010 09:04 AM by Daytona Vintage Racing.)
Post: #1
This page is dedicated to Cris Sommer Simmons
I commend all men and women in the unique adventure. And for those of you who don't know why Cris Simmons, is riding a bike named in honor of Effie, here are a couple little stories on Effie.. and I am posting this, at least in part because, I, Vanessa have always been about the girl power, and Cris definately represents... she is representing women, not in a chauvinistic manner, but rather, in my eyes, a loving respectful, way of acknowledging those women before and after her.. to prove we are all equal, and should respect each as such.. below is a story from harley davidson on early trailblazers, women included.. enjoy..
Avis and Effie Hotchkiss

Effie N. Hotchkiss and mother Avis, first women to ride cross-country on a motorcycle from NY to San Francisco. Photo from the September 1915 issue of The Harley-Davidson Dealer.
In the 19th Century, America was a vast country. There were still sections of the nation regarded as frontier, and traversing large sections of land, much less the entire continent, on your own was a bold and dangerous endeavor. At the turn of the 20th Century, the gasoline engine revolutionized travel. America started seeming smaller with each passing year.

Numerous efforts to cover ground quickly on Harley-Davidson® motorcycles were to be made in the coming years. On May 2, 1915, the mother-daughter team of Avis and Effie Hotchkiss left Brooklyn, New York on a three-speed V-Twin with a sidecar, with the intention of reaching the West Coast and returning.
The team had no intention of gaining medals, money, or fame by taking the trip. In the words of daughter, Effie, "We merely wanted to see America and considered that the Three-Speed Harley-Davidson for myself and sidecar for mother and the luggage best suited for the job."

In September of 1915, The Harley-Davidson Dealer magazine reported that the team faced "bad roads, heat, cold, rain, floods, and all such things with a shrug of their shoulders." They had crossed the San Marcos pass in California, enduring temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The Hotchkisses claimed in The Harley-Davidson Dealer that, while in New Mexico, they had run out of spare inner tubes. Having thought ahead for this predicament, the women cut a blanket down to inner tube length, rolled and shaped it into a doughnut, and stuffed it into the tire. This got the bike through to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they were able to re-supply inner tubes.

In August, the team dipped their wheels in the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco. By just making the trip one way, Avis and Effie Hotchkiss became the first women to cross the United States on a motorcycle. They immediately began the return leg, which included crossing the deserts of Nevada and Utah, and the cities of Reno, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Davenport, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

Avis and Effie Hotchkiss finally returned to their home in Brooklyn in October of 1915. Although they were looking forward to their next trips, they had already ridden their way into the record books and earned themselves a place in motorcycling history.

Just found this article too..


By Carrie Strikowski
Life was much different for people living in America on May 2nd 1915. Woodrow Wilson was leading the country. Two years earlier, in 1913 Harriet Tubman had passed away, a year before that the Titanic had sunk. Oklahoma had just become a state 8 years prior in 1907. In January of 1915, January 12th to be exact, the United States House of Representatives had rejected a proposal to give women the right to vote. It was in this time that a young 20 year old girl decided to follow her dreams and cross the country on a motorcycle.
Even now the idea of a woman crossing the country on a bike is a huge deal. With all of our modern convinces like cell phones, hotels, GPS, and paved roads, most women would not embark on such a journey. So when Effie Hotchkiss announced to her mother that she intended to cross the country on the back of her 1915 3 speed V-Twin Harley Davidson her mother did only the most logical thing, insisted on coming with her. So started the trip that would become the legendary first cross country trip on a motorcycle completed by a woman, or two women to be exact.
Effie had a love for motorcycles, so when she received a small inheritance from the sale of a family farm she used that money to buy her Harley. Her goal was to take that bike from her home in Brooklyn and ride it across the wilds of America. Through lands still known for cowboys and Indians, and on roads where pavement was considered a luxury. All the way to the San Francisco World’s Fair. Effie’s mother Avis only forbid her to go alone and the solution Avis offered was to ride along with her. So, Effie’s motorcycle was fitted with a side car large enough to accommodate Avis and their luggage.


The trip was 5,000 miles and took Effie and her mother 2 months to complete. They brought along tools and extra parts so when something inevitably failed on the bike they could make the repairs themselves. The two women pushed the machine that carried them across the country to it’s limits and beyond. At one point having run out of inner tubes they cut a blanket down to inner tube length which got them to Santa Fe where they were able to replenish their supplies.
Upon making it to San Francisco, Effie rode to the beach to splash her feet in the Pacific Ocean so she could say that she had touched the waters of both coasts. If all of these accomplishments were not enough. Effie also met her future husband in San Francisco. The chance meeting happened when she accidentally ran over him when he stepped in front of her and her motorcycle. The journey didn’t end in San Francisco though. In August Effie and Avis made the two month trip back to Brooklyn on their motorcycle and side car.
This inspiring story is just the first of many tales of women who have paved the way for all women riders. I hope it also serves as an inspiration to all of us women who no matter the weather or circumstance on May 1st this year. May 1st is International Female Ride Day. So ladies make these women that came before us proud. Whatever you ride, get on it May 1st and show the world that women riders rule!

Shhhhhhhhhh, don't tell the boys, I am rooting for ya Cris.. Smile


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