Annual ride celebrating women riders turns 100

An annual ride celebrating the motorcycle-adventuring spirit of women is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary next summer and riders are being urged to join in the celebration.

The Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride will take place July 4-24, 2016. A cross-country motorcycle ride for women, the event will commemorate Adeline and Augusta Van Buren’s historic ride across the United States from New York to San Francisco.

In 1916 Adeline and Augusta Van Buren set out to prove they could ride as well as anyone. With World War I looming, the Van Buren sisters planned to show that women had what it took to be dispatch riders in the U.S. Army. They set off on their transcontinental journey on a pair of motorcycles. 

"This was a phenomenal accomplishment by two courageous women at a time when few roads were paved, Victorian attitudes were in full flare and women did not yet have the right to vote," said Alisa Clickenger of Motorcycle Adventure Group, LLC . "This ride is intended to honor their achievement and promote the growth of modern-day women motorcyclists and the motorcycling community."

The extended family of the Van Buren sisters have joined forces with Clickenger to promote the event, which will launch from the East Coast with at least 100 women riders, including Adeline's great-granddaughter, Sofié Ruderman, and Sarah Van Buren –– great-great-niece of Adeline and Augusta. The 100-plus riders will follow the Van Burens' 1916 route as closely as possible, often along the Lincoln Highway.

Combining scenic routes, community events, and important stops along the Van Burens’ own journey, the route will allow for great motorcycle riding and promote women as role models by visibly demonstrating their courage and capability as cross-country motorcycle riders.

"The Sisters' Centennial Ride celebrates our family legacy by raising visibility for women motorcyclists while raising funds for charities supporting women in traditionally male-dominated careers," said Robert Van Buren.

"We hope many will join us in this celebration of American motorcycle heritage, pioneers, and the freedom to ride," added Dan Ruderman, Adeline’s grandson.

Conceptualized by Clickenger as a way to highlight the "then and now" aspects of American two-wheeled travel, community events and meet-and-greets are planned across the country as a way of enticing not-yet-riding women to learn about the joys of motorcycling.

"I was a shy housewife 20 years ago, when I started riding, and nobody would ever believe that about me now," said Clickenger. "For me, motorcycling has been an important tool of self-discovery and empowerment and every other female rider has a similar story of who she has become by learning to ride a motorcycle. I want folks from across the country, from all walks of life, to come out and meet us, hear our stories, hear about the history of women and motorcycling and be enchanted by the possibilities in their own lives."

The event concludes with a large group ride into San Francisco on July 23, 2016, where festivities will celebrate the ride's completion and all riders' accomplishments. Women have several options for participation, including a fully supported tour and self-guided tours of the entire route or individual segments. Registration is open on the event website at


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