As a librarian I can get pretty obsessed with research and scouring the internet. So, when I innocently started a Pinterest board featuring vintage photos of women motorcycle riders I got hooked. I’m also not content with simply pinning an image… I want a story! I’m currently just shy of 300 photos from the early 1900s to the 1970s. Please check the link here: https://www.pinterest.com/nlporter/vintage-women-motorbike-riders/
I’ve included some of the more “well known” riders like Elspeth Beard, Sue Fish, Marjorie Dare, Gwen Wickham, Marjorie Cottle, Dot Robinson, Bessie Stringfield, Jessie Ennis, Adeline and Augusta Van Buren, Beryl Swain, Kerry Kleid, Nancy and Betty Debenham, Eva Asquith, Fay Taylour, Avis and Effie Hotchkiss, Della Crewe, Linda Dugeau, Cookie Ayers Crum, Carter Alsop, Mimi Selly, Dee Granger, Mary McGee, Debbie Lawler, Vivian Bales, Debbie Evans, Agnes Acker, Marianne Weber, Olga Kevelos, etc.
And yet, there are some particular photos that I’ve stumbled across that are so cool, but have such minimal detail. I figured I might as well highlight these photos on the off chance that someone knows their story, and simply just to feature my favourites. Enjoy!
I found this scan on the left by accident on a website about hill-climbing. This is Miss Jennie Forrie in 1923 who was banned from competing in the male-dominated sport of hill-climbing because she was the only female. She just goes for it anyways and makes the local newspaper. I did some research and there was a Jennie Forrie born in 1900, died in 1991. But who is she? How did she decide that it was worth dressing up in men’s garb and show up the dudes! What a ruler.
This is Amaranee Naidoo – a woman stunts rider in 1957 who rode the “Wall of Death.” I believe she is of Indian South African descent, but know very little of her story. I want to know how she got her first bike, what it was like as a woman of colour pursuing this daring activity?
And here is what I assume to be a British lady rider competing in a country race. She’s blasting up those twisty gravel roads… Name? Unknown.
Below is a few decades later (obviously) with the coolest woman on her chopper. Some random is taking her photo and she just couldn’t be bothered to stop and share her life story. Fair enough. She’s over it. She just wants to riiiidddeeee!
Next we have a woman just ripping! She’s got her café racer and no need for a helmet. Dang!
Anyways, my collection goes on and on. Please take a look at the pinterest board and get stoked!