Women Have Always Enjoyed Travels with Harley

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Last week I talked about how much I love to Google the history of Harley Davidson, and this weekend wasn’t any different. Surrounded by my cats and Jim I found out some fascinating things about women and motorcycles that made me think I just might want to get my own Harley Davidson…

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It was 1915 when Indian Motorcycles starting offering customers both front and rear shock absorbers. Because they tended to cushion the ride, folks started to think about traveling long distances on the back of a motorcycle, much like Jim and I do in, “Travels with Harley.” That same year Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, a mother and daughter duo, road all the way from New York to the city by the bay, San Francisco. Instead of opting for the direct route, they decided to take their time and enjoy the countryside traveling over 5,000 miles on the back of their Indian.

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The following year Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, two high society women approaching their mid-twenties, decided to buy a couple of Indian Powerplus motorcycles and be the first to make their way up and down the famed Pike’s Peak. They succeeded and although the 3,300 mile trip took nearly two months, they came back talking about unpaved roads and an arrest for wearing trousers in public.

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The Enthusiast was published by Harley Davidson and sponsored a woman by the name of Vivian Wales. The trip involved a 5000 mile trip from the Harley factory. Known as the motorcycle cover girl, Vivian took several long distance motor cycle rides on the back of her Harley. It must have done something because Vivian, who was born in 1909, lived to be 92.

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Another early motorcycle heroine went by the name of Bessie Stringfield, affectionately known as the Motorcycle Queen of Miami. She was a dispatch rider and made an astonishing eight solo trips across the United States. Back in the 1920’s, Bessie already had two strikes against her. One, she was a woman, and two, she was African-American. In fact, the police had to intercede after the state would not issue her a motorcycle license.

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During the 1930’s motorcycle riders became daredevils with motordromes popping up all over the United States. Advertised as the, “Wall of Death,” the motordrome consisted of a giant barrel that held a platform for viewers who could peer down on the riders who would speed around the walls on the inside. One of the first women to appear at the motordrome was the, “Mile a Minute Girl,” Margaret Gast who was later joined by fellow daredevil, May Williams and Jean Perry.

In 1940, the Motormaids became the very first motorcycle club for women and is still around today.

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Now I’m not so sure I would ride solo across the United States, but I wouldn’t mind riding next to Jim on my own custom Harley Davidson in Travels with Harley.

A Harley Davidson History Lesson

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When the weather is unpredictable and Jim and I can’t get out on the road for, “Travels with Harley,” I like to go online and read about the history of Harley Davidson, and everything that goes along with it. Over the weekend I found out some fascinating things motorcycles, going all the way back to Susan B. Anthony who said, “The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women more than anything else in the world. “

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Indeed, bicycles were all the rage, but when Gottlieb Daimler decided to add an engine to his bicycle in 1885, everything started to change. For all intensive purposes, it wasn’t a bike at all, as it had four wheels. Two of those wheels were safety wheels. The first bicycle with an engine moved along at a snail’s pace barely hitting 12 MPH.

Once Daimler’s idea became known, other bicycles with motors were quickly being invented. Historians believe the first true motorcycle would have to be the one made by Sylvester Roper in 1869. This two-wheeled motorcycle got its power from charcoal.

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Within those two decades, motorcycles were quickly being produced for the masses. The first was manufactured by the Metz Company in Massachusetts and was dubbed the Orient Aster. The Indian quickly became one of the most popular motorcycles coming out of Springfield, Massachusetts.

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When Harley Davidson sold the first three motorcycles that it had manufactured in 1902, everyone decided to jump on the band wagon with names like Henderson, Excelsior, and Marvel. After the depression, the only two manufacturers that were left were Harley and Indian, but it wouldn’t be long before Harley Davidson would be the only motorcycle manufacturer left in the United States.

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Women like riding motorcycles as much as bicycles. Not only were they fun, but they were also economical. Unlike today, those early female riders were adventuresome and had a much better reputation than the, “Biker Chic’s,” Of today.

Like I said, I spend a majority of the weekend online and plan to share more about women and motorcycles in next week’s blog. Hopefully before then Jim and I will be able to get in at least one, “Travels with Harley.”

Rent a Harley and You Can Enjoy Travels with Harley

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Jim and I love taking road trips for Travels with Harley, but sometimes it can become difficult during the winter, and that’s where renting a Harley where it’s warm sounds darned tempting.

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 If you have read my blog, you will remember that Jim and I rented a Harley Davidson when we were in Hawaii and had a blast. If your Harley is snowed in, or you want to explore the possibilities of owning a Harley Davidson, renting from a Harley Davidson Authorized Rental Dealer in some of the most popular riding spots in the world is definitely the way to go.

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During the winter, some of the most popular places to ride and rent a Harley are Hawaii of course, Las Vegas, Florida and even Jamaica. I would love to see Jamaica on the back of a Harley Davidson.

You can find out everything about renting a Harley from the newly redesigned and enhanced Harley Davidson rentals website. It’s so easy to rent a Harley Davidson with a few clicks of your mouse.

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The new Harley Davidson rental site gives would be riders an extremely streamlined experience that makes jumping on a Harley easier than it ever has been. Best of all, the new website is mobile compatible making it easy to find an Authorized Harley Davidson Rental Dealer. Just use your phone to get a price and book your Harley Davidson.

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One of the best things about the newly redesigned Harley Davidson website is that you can rent a Harley any time you feel like it. Whether you want to escape the cold, try another Harley Davidson or two, or you are on a business trip and want to add some excitement in-between meetings, renting a Harley is the way to go. Jim and I have some friends in our local chapter that actually rent bikes when their Sportster is in the shop.

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When you rent a Harley Davidson, it gives you the chance to discover untraveled roads overseas, but it also allows you to extend your test ride if you want to buy the new Project Rushmore Tour Bike, the 2014 Sportster Superlow, the Sportster Iron 833, the Street Bob, or the new Road King. Jim and I actually took a little test run on the new Road King a couple of months ago, and it was awesome. I really like the Switchback as it makes it easy to convert from touring to cruising. It really is like having two different bikes all rolled into one.

Tour Events are another great way to test-drive a new Harley Davidson. Best of all, the Harley Demo Events are free with a massive selection of new models to choose from.

I Think It’s Time for Some New Harley Davidson Gear

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Like most women, I like to look good when I hop on the back of the Road King for, “Travels with Harley,” and thanks to the gear made and licensed by Harley Davidson, I can.

Jim really isn’t a fashion guy. Honestly, he really is the epitome of the true Harley rider. Jim wants to be comfortable and safe, and me, well I want to be safe and comfortable as well, but I also like to be fashion forward when it comes to, “Travels with Harley.”

All of the gear that you buy from a Harley Davidson store, or online, is designed by women who ride. Harley Davidson is the only company on the planet that specially designs riding gear just for women.

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Harley Davidson gear is really functional, and when we are out on a ride the last thing I want to do is have to worry about changing because we decided to stop for dinner. On our, “Travels with Harley,” I like to get off the Road King and be ready for anything. Harley Davidson makes some great jeans and riding pants that take me from before the ride to the end and everything in between.

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The Women’s Control Rider System is awesome. You are in control of the comfort and climate of your gear with the three-part system. The innovative system allows you to mix and match your base layer followed by insulated mid-lays topped off with your outer layer that will protect you from that unexpected rain or snowstorm. Jim, I know what I want for Christmas!

If you read one of my last blogs, you will remember that the sole of my boot took a turn for the worse when we went to the 110 Harley Anniversary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I had to take it to the cobbler who did a great job, but I think it’s time to invest in a new pair of authentic Harley Davidson motorcycle boots. Of course, seeing the selection of styles on the Harley Davidson site persuaded me a bit as well!

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I’m kind of torn between the Alexa Performance Boots and the Sydney Performance Boots. The Alexa comes up to the knee, while the Sydney sits just above the ankle, almost mid-calf. I like the Alexa Boots because I could wear them when I am not riding with a pair of skinny jeans or tights. I’m sure I’ll make a decision as we have a ride coming up soon and I want some new fashionable gear for our next, “Travels with Harley.”