Then: Two Women on a Cross-Country Motorcycle Mission; Now: One Hundred Women Riding Cross-Country in Their Honor
DIAMOND BAR, CA -- Sept. 29, 2015: ONE HUNDRED YEARS, ONE HUNDRED WOMEN. Alisa Clickenger announces plans for the Sisters' Centennial Motorcycle Ride, July 4-24, 2016. A cross-country motorcycle adventure for women, the event commemorates the 100th anniversary of Adeline and Augusta Van Buren's historic ride across the United States from New York to San Francisco.
In 1916 the Van Buren sisters set out to prove they could ride as well as anyone. With World War I looming, they intended to show the U.S. government that women had what it took to be dispatch riders in the Army, and they set off on their transcontinental journey on a pair of motorcycles. "This was a phenomenal accomplishment by two courageous women at a time when few roads were paved, Victorian attitudes were in full flare and women did not yet have the right to vote," says Clickenger. "Our ride will honor their achievement and promote the growth of modern-day women motorcyclists and the adventure community."
The family of the Van Buren sisters has joined forces with Clickenger to promote the event, which launches from the east coast with at least 100 women riders, including Adeline's great-granddaughter, Sofie Ruderman, and Sarah Van Buren, great-great-niece of Adeline and Augusta. Riders will follow the 1916 route as closely as possible, often along the Lincoln Highway. Combining scenic routes, community events, and important stops along the Van Burens' journey, the route will allow for great touring and promote women as role models by demonstrating their capability as cross-country travelers.
"The Sisters' Centennial Ride celebrates our family legacy by raising visibility for women motorcyclists while raising funds for charities supporting women in traditionally male-dominated careers," says Robert Van Buren.
Conceptualized as a way to highlight the "then and now" aspects of two-wheeled travel, community events are planned across the country to showcase the accomplishments of female role models of the last century. Partnering with such organizations as Pennsylvania's Route 6 Alliance, the Lincoln Highway Heritage Association, and communities along the way, the ride will promote both America's motorcycling heritage and our history as leaders in the transportation industry over the past century.
"We hope many will join us in this celebration of American motorcycle heritage, pioneers, and the freedom to ride," adds Dan Ruderman, Adeline's grandson.
The event concludes with a group ride into San Francisco on July 23, 2016, where festivities will celebrate the ride's completion and riders' accomplishments. Options for participation include a fully supported tour and self-guided tours. Registration is open on the event website at SistersMotorcycleRide. For photos and history, Inspiration and VanBurenSisters.