The journey started with a launch party in Brooklyn, New York, almost 20 days ago and is finally approaching its last leg in San Francisco this weekend. For the last two-and-a-half weeks, the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride has been honoring the accomplishments of Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, the first women to cross the continental United States on motorcycles. The Van Buren sisters are said to be the first women to have reached the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak on motorcycles as well, adding to their legacy.
One hundred years after the Van Buren’s epic journey, 68 riders, most of them women, set out from Brooklyn on a 20 day journey that closely followed the original route of the Van Buren sisters. Included in the group were direct descendants of the sisters, including Bob Van Buren and his daughter Sarah, Adeline’s grandson Dan Ruderman, Ruderman’s daughter Sofié, and son Skyler. As the entourage has made its way across the country, they’ve explored the Lincoln Highway, celebrated AMA Vintage Days in Columbus, Ohio, and toured the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa. Pressing westward, the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride has tackled the climb up Pikes Peak in honor of the Van Buren’s achievement, ventured off the beaten path in Bryce Canyon, and are fully embracing the experience of a lifetime.
We’ve been tracking the Sisters’ Centennial Ride through social media channels as two of American Iron’s friends are on the ride, Indian Motorcycle’s External Relations Manager Robert Pandya and multi-talented photographer Sara Liberte (who graciously contributed all the photos in this story). The two have been the conjoined twins of the tour, Robert piloting an Indian Chief Darkhorse with Sara literally right by his side in a matching Champion sidecar.
“I’m on this ride and it is AMAZING… So many great stories, amazing riders, and just the spirit of everyone. The great granddaughter of Adeline Van Buren, Sophie Ruderman is riding with us, as well as the great niece, Sarah Van Buren,” said Liberte.
“Great women making history on motorcycles. There are fantastic individual stories in this group. Women who are battling illness, boredom, excited about an unprecedented event, participating in something they never thought they could, and overcoming obstacles,” added Pandya.
One of those inspirational stories belongs to Sarah “SeCCRet” Moreau. The “CCR” stands for “Cross-Country Rider,” a title Moreau has earned as the Sisters’ Centennial Ride will be her 18th continental crossing. When she reaches San Francisco, Moreau will surpass the number of cross-country rides registered by another pioneering woman motorcyclist, Bessie Stringfield.
If you’d like a chance to hear more great stories from the ride first-hand, a big “Grand Finale Party” will be held Saturday in San Francisco at the Dainese D-Store. The party will be held from 7:30 p.m – 10:30 p.m., but you need to register in advance if you’d like to attend. The Dainese D-Store is located at 131 South Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA (415-626-5478). More information about the Grand Finale Party can be found here http://sistersmotorcycleride.com/local-events/sanfrancisco/
MAD Maps is also planning on meeting the riders in Marin County to escort them into the city for the final leg. MAD Maps listed its reception plans on Facebook.
“So get READY ’cause here they come! This Saturday, July 23rd we will celebrate the arrival of the 2016 Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride with the party that has been 100 years in the making. We will have 100 riders staged at Fort Baker in Marin County awaiting the arrival of the caravan. The San Francisco Motorcycle Club (SFMC) and their ride captain Robert Hanssen along with MAD Maps founder, Jenny Lefferts willl lead a Welcome Parade across the Golden Gate Bridge and through the streets of San Francisco, ending at the SFMC Club House for a reception, prior to the Allstate Grand Finale party at the The Dainese D-Store San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. to be emceed by the one and only Erin Sills.
Local riders please feel free to meet up at the SFMC Club House located at 2194 Folsom Street, SF CA at 5:00 p.m. to welcome the riders. Any folks wanting to attend the Allstate/BMW Grande Finale Party at the D-Store in San Francisco can purchase tickets on line at http://sistersmotorcycleride.com/local-events/sanfrancisco/ Join us for a spectacular day celebrating the achievements of these women and members of the Van Buren family!”
Thanks again Sara Liberte Photography for sharing your pictures with us. While these photos provide the essence of the event, the full magic of the adventure can be found on her website, so be sure to check it out!