The July 3-24, 2016 Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride is filling up fast. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) sanctioned event is a cross-country motorcycle ride for women, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Adeline and Augusta Van Buren’s historic ride across the United States from New York to San Francisco.
Just three months after registration opened, the ride is already more than 25% full. “We’re encouraging riders to sign up as soon as possible,” says organizer Alisa Clickenger, of WomensMotorcycleTours.com. Clickenger adds there are several options for participating in the ride, including fully guided and self-supported tours for the full three weeks or in segments. Registration options also include joining the group for the launch party in Brooklyn, NY or for the grand finale in San Francisco, CA. All registrations include a direct donation to charity.
The ride will benefit two charities: Final Salute (http://www.finalsaluteinc.org/), a national women’s veterans’ organization which provides temporary and permanent housing for the over 500,000 homeless female veterans in the United States and the Women’s Coalition of Motorcyclists (http://wcm2020.org/), which provides funding for motorcycle train-the-trainer scholarships that will help enlarge the number of female instructors and coaches for road, dirt and track. Both contribute to the cause of women who are involved in traditionally male-dominated fields.
The cross-country event recognizes the accomplishment of sisters Adeline and Augusta Van Buren. The sisters set out in 1916 to show that women had what it took to be dispatch riders in the U.S. Army and took 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. “This ride is intended to honor their achievement and promote the growth of modern-day women motorcyclists and the motorcycling community.”
The extended family of the Van Buren sisters have joined forces with Clickenger to promote the event, which will launch from the east coast with at least 100 women riders, including Adeline’s great-granddaughter, Sofié Ruderman, and Sarah Van Buren, great-great-niece of Adeline and Augusta. The 100-plus riders will follow the Van Burens’ 1916 route as closely as possible, often along the Lincoln Highway. Combining scenic routes, community events, and important stops along the Van Burens’ own journey, the route will allow for great motorcycle riding and promote women as role models by visibly demonstrating their courage and capability as cross-country motorcycle riders.
Conceptualized by Clickenger as a way to highlight the “then and now” aspects of American two-wheeled travel, community events and meet & greets are planned across the country as a way of enticing not-yet-riding women to learn about the joys of motorcycling. The event concludes with a large group ride into San Francisco on July 23, 2016, where festivities will celebrate the ride’s completion and all riders’ accomplishments. Registration is open on the event website at www.SistersMotorcycleRide.com.