“Augusta and Adeline Van Buren (related to President van Buren) grew up as Society Girls who eventually married, raise families, and held jobs. But that’s not the whole story. Raised in New York City, they sound like stereotypes of their time. Except that on July 4, 1916 they left from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and trekked west on two Power Plus Indian motorcycles equipped with gas headlights.
They crossed the Rockies and the western desert near the great salt lake, reaching Los Angeles on September 8. On their motorcycling journey across the American continent they reached Pike’s Peak Colorado just a year after the first rough, dangerous trail had been cut to it’s 14,109 foot summit. Taking on the challenge, they became the first women to ride that trail on any kind of motorized vehicle. On this epic journey they crashed, fought fatigue, ruts, and mud. And as Bikers, they experienced police harassment, in small towns they passed through along the way, for dressing in men’s leather riding suits. Obviously, this marathon motorcycle experience from any perspective qualifies them as Bikers. After all, even before the Depression they undertook a true Motorcycle Gypsy Experience. So, the question is,
had Augusta and Adeline lived the motorcycle lifestyle? Or had they lived the motorcycling experience?
What we have here is a contradiction in terms: “Lifestyle” versus “Life Experience.”
Doing the arithmetic you get “Style” versus “Experience”. Words mean something or at least they’re supposed to. It’s basically very simple. Webster defines the word “style” as Designation or Title, a manner of expression. And lifestyle is defined by, 1- getting a Designation (recognition as a Biker), 2- getting a Title (call a Biker), 3- expressing a manner (acts like a Biker). Experience is very simply “the act of doing.” Hence “living the motorcycle experience” is basically doing it, as the Van Buren sisters did. Perhaps a more concise term would be “Biker Experience. Lets face it, someone who has “Biker Experience” is far more interesting to talk to than someone who simply expresses “Biker Style.” Wouldn’t it have been great to talk with Augusta and Adeline Van Buren?” Story By Nicker