I got a sweet little tip in my email inbox the other day from a gal who collects vintage photographs of women and their motorcycles. Alison Iven compiles them all on her Tumblr, Women Who Ride, which has become an extensive treasure trove for celebrating women riders. It’s endlessly inspirational, and here are some of my favourites…
Cuban singer and dancer Lina Salomé zooms around Havana in 1956
With the lovely Vivian Bales an image change in the motorsport scene had taken place. The “Men’s vehicle” propelled women could now show their feminine side. These three women took part in a motorcycle race of British motor sport federation Auto-Cycle Union (ACU) in Birmingham in March 1923
Helen Kiss Main on a motorcycle, “Pink Lady.” She was the first treasurer and one of the first 51 charter members of Motor Maids the oldest continually operated women’s motorcycling organization established in 1940.
Agnes Muriel Hind, the first woman to race motorbikes in England, 1910
The Harwins and Dobsons perform their motorcycle acrobatics at the GER Sports Field, March, 1935
Biker Witch on Sutter Street, San Francisco
One of the “Ladies of Harley” MOST active since the 40s: Dot Robinson at Daytona in 1984.
Sapphire Ladies, Balto, MS
In 1965, a young Bristol UK woman was part of a team formed to beat the world scooter speed record. Marlene Parker, a taxi driver in the city, had been selected from 67 female applicants from across the country to ride a Lambretta scooter in Monza in Italy and break the world record of 110 miles an hour.
Marjorie Dare (Doris Smith) riding hands free around “The Wall of Death” sideshow at the Kursaal amusement park in Essex, England, 1938.
Someone’s Mom in the seventies.
P&M, was called Panther after 1924, in their advertising slogans it was also called “The Perfected Motorcycle” in the early days when it was still called P&M, it was a most modern motorcycle, with all chain drive, 2 speeds, and a neutral.
Ann-Margret as Rusty Martin and Elvis Presley as Lucky Jackson riding motor bikes during the production of MGM’s Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Françoise Hardy on her Honda CB 750.
Unknown woman on a Harley Davidson.
Young students in Asia on the VeloSolex.
Cover of Women and Motorcycling – The Early Years
An Autoette electric shopper as seen at the supermarket during the early 1960’s
A motorcycle trailer caravan, towed by a 500cc Rudge Four motorcycl. The caravan is a Rudge Semi-Sports Caravan.
Brigitte Bardot and Sylvie Vartan. Of course Bardot rode.
Someone’s Mom wearing an awesome biker outfit in 1950.
Easter Walters, a 1920s actress and motorcycle enthusiast.
Trials bike riders over car, on a Yamaha TY250A 1974 Menai, NSW Australia.
Nancy Debenham and her sister Betty paved the way for young ladies newly empowered with the equal voting age act with their 1928 book ‘Motorcycling for Women’.
From the film Dixie Dynamite (1976) about motorcycle-riding female vigilantes trying to take back their land.