Mar 2024
Mujeres motociclismo

Last March 8th was International Women’s Day. On the occasion of this remarkable date, from NG BRAKES we want to dedicate a space to all women who are part of this sector. In this case, with a special mention to those who have made history by breaking down the barriers that society imposed on them only because of their gender. So, today we bring you 8 women who have made their mark on the history of motorcycling.

1. Della Crewe

Della Crewe is considered to be the first woman to cross the United States on a motorbike. A heroic feat she accomplished in 1915. A time in history when it was uncommon to see a woman on a motorbike. So, despite her gender, her achievement caused a great deal of media interest.

2. Augusta and Adeline van Buren

A year after Crewe’s incredible achievement, sisters Augusta and Adeline van Buren travelled for two months from New York to Los Angeles. They did it on two Indian Powerplus. It was a journey of almost 9,000 km that was not without its bumps in the road, as they were stopped for simply wearing trousers.

3. Nancy and Betty Debenham

The sisters Nancy and Betty Debenham have gone down in history not only for their passion for two wheels, or for competing on their motorcycles, but also for having their own section in the publication Cars and motor-cycles in 1927. A speaker that they also used to advocate for the presence of women in the sector and to fight for their acceptance.

4. Bessie Stringfield

One of the women who had the hardest time was Bessie Stringfield, who, in addition to being a woman, was the first African-American to ride a motorbike. She did so in 1927, at the age of 16. Almost 30 years later, in 1953, she won a race disguised as a man, but the prize was withdrawn when her gender was discovered.

5. Dorothy Robinson

Dorothy Robinson is best known for fighting for the right of women to participate in motorbike racing in the 1930s and 1940s. She also founded the Motor Maids motorbike club in 1940, the first in the world created just for women. At the age of 18, she won a 100-mile endurance race. Her enormous career of great achievements earned her a place in the American Motorcyclist Association’s Hall of Fame.

6. Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron

Almost 45 years before the Dakar Rally was founded, in 1935, Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron, two friends with the same passion, embarked on the adventure of crossing Africa. Despite the opposition of their families. They became the first women to do so. Although they looked for sponsors to finance the trip, they had to do it with two Phelon & Moore Panther motorbikes, a minority brand. No major firm agreed to let them have bikes because they didn’t trust women to do it. It wasn’t until millionaire Lady Astor and racing rider Sir Malcolm Campbell offered to finance them that they were able to make the journey.

7. Sally Halterman

Sally Helterman went down in history as the first woman to hold a motorbike licence. She got it in 1937. She spent 10 years trying to get it. She had been riding motorbikes for years without a licence and had taken countless tests. But in many of them she was failed because of her height or weight or simply because the examiner refused to give her the test.

8. Laia Sanz

Looking for a more current reference, we find one of the most successful Spanish women in the motorbike sector. She is Laia Sanz, fourteen times Trial World Champion and six times Enduro World Champion. Undoubtedly, she is a reference for women who are passionate about the world of two wheels and specifically off-road disciplines.