The American Motorcycle Girls 1900 to 1950: A Photographic History of Early Women Motorcyclists is a book I’m excited about because it’s a professional presentation of a topic I’m passionate about: women riders. Actually, the book is not simply about any women riders, but the ones who paved the way during the first 50 years of the 20th century.
This 240-page coffee-table book is loaded with nearly 400 incredible vintage photographs of just about every woman who rode a motorcycle during the first half of the last century. Author Cristine Sommer Simmons spent two years scouring museums and personal collections to create the most comprehensive book on the subject of women riders from the early days. She’s also been collecting photos for 30 years. Ever heard of Nellie Jo Gill or Easter Walters? These, and the stories of hundreds of other women, most of whom are not showcased in any motorcycle museum, are chronicled with photos in this beautiful and informative book. I marvel at the clear, close-up images of these female pioneers who rode when riding was tough. The thing is, they didn’t know it was tough. All they knew were dirt roads with potholes and motorcycles that were not as technologically sound as modern bikes. They didn’t have good maps, and they didn’t have the high-tech gear and riding apparel we have today. But these women fell in love with the feeling that motorcycling gave them, despite societal limitations of the day.
The American Motorcycle Girls 1900 to 1950: A Photographic History of Early Women Motorcyclists is a glowing tribute to the women who opened the doors to cycling and paved the way for countless female riders who followed in their tire tracks. It’s priced at $50, and is well worth it! AIM
–Genevieve Schmitt as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.
Parker House Publishing