Sister’s Centennial Motorcycle Ride. Then, 2 Women. Now 100 Women Riding Cross Country.

1sistersAlisa Clickenger of Motorcycle Adventure Group, LLC announces plans for the Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride, July 4-24, 2016, a cross-country motorcycle ride for women. The event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of 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,” says Clickenger. “This ride is intended to honor their achievement and promote the growth of modern-day women motorcyclists and the motorcycling community.”

2sistersThe 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.

AdelineBurenAugustaBurenThe 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,” says Robert Van Buren. “We hope many will join us in this celebration of American motorcycle heritage, pioneers, and the freedom to ride”, adds Dan Ruderman, Adeline’s grandson.

3sistersConceptualized by Clickenger as a way to highlight the “then and now” aspects of American two-wheeled travel, community events and meet & 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 twenty years ago when I started riding, and nobody would ever believe that about me now,” says 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 at Sisters Motorcycle Ride.

Alisa Clickenger is a veteran motorcycle traveler and experienced tour leader. She is a powersports journalist and marketer with a decade-long dream of re-creating the Van Buren sisters’ historic ride.

12 Responses to “Sister’s Centennial Motorcycle Ride. Then, 2 Women. Now 100 Women Riding Cross Country.”

  1. 1 Bruce Sep 20th, 2015 at 9:54 am

    It should be a great event for the ladies…and the folowers.

  2. 2 nicker Sep 20th, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    More to the point, in 1916 Adeline and Augusta Van Buren were the first to ride motorcycles up Pike’s Peak…… hand shift & foot clutch power plus scooters….. on what was then a simple dirt path to the top. Not a road at all.

    What’s changed….???
    Well, today’s motorcycle heroes go all white knuckle seeing a little dirt on the road…….

    Call it “negativity” if you like. I call it the new “Reality”… 🙁


  3. 3 Rodent Sep 21st, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Today’s women motorcycle riders don’t come near to the feats of these 2 pioneer riders. Neither do most male riders. How about making the centennial ride sans electric starters?

  4. 4 Kathy Sep 21st, 2015 at 9:30 am

    I think it is obvious the ride is being ridden on sentimental value…A historic memory of these women pioneers. Not really a re-creation of dirt roads or vintage motorcycles or trying to be legendary. It’s great to keep history alive without throwing comparisons around. I for one, just love history and actually going to places where I can just sit and use my thoughts to take me back. I am assuming most, if not all of these ladies will be thinking of the pioneers as they ride and the challenges they had along with a gratification of accomplishment. Safe ride to them all.

  5. 5 Marilyn DeMartini Sep 21st, 2015 at 11:05 am

    What a great “excuse” to get a large group of women out to ride! I love that people are nostalgic about the accomplishments of others and want to commemorate them in a way that benefits everyone involved. Would be nice if there was a charity involved so even more people benefit. Kudos ladies!

  6. 6 Cris Sommer Simmons Sep 21st, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    If I wasn’t riding the 2016 Cannonball next Sept. I would LOVE to do this on an 100 year old motorcycle. But… in the spirit of these wonderful Van Buren sisters, it doesn’t matter what motorcycle is ridden. This a great event to celebrate those who paved the way!

  7. 7 nicker Sep 21st, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    “… It’s great to keep history alive without throwing comparisons around… It’s great to keep history alive without throwing comparisons around. I for one, just love history and actually going to places where I can just sit and use my thoughts to take me back…”

    You miss the point of history if you only use history to entertain yourself.
    Using history for the sake of nostalgia provides no more value than watching a movie.

    Negotiating a life time is like shooting a rifle.
    The front sight is Now, the target is the Future, and the rear sight is History.
    Without a historic reference there is no good way to predict your trajectory into the future.
    And “…without throwing comparisons around…” there can be no metric for “accomplishment.”

    True “… gratification of accomplishment…” can only be realized by making comparisons.
    Without such judgements how could one determine the value in anything….???

    The value of a lifetime lies in the sum of all of one’s choices.
    (and in the end your mind will replay them for you)


  8. 8 bludog Sep 22nd, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    If history governed the trajectory of the future, there’d probably be little interest in the ride imho. The VanBuren sisters would have amply demonstrated to the world that women should be viewed to be as capable as men. If that’s the perspective that you generally observe in the world of two wheels, we’re riding very different routes. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  9. 9 nicker Sep 22nd, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    “…If history governed the trajectory of the future, there’d probably be little interest in the ride…”

    If bikers knew their history i wouldn’t have to spend my time stomping out stupid drivel like “suicide shifters.”


  10. 10 Blackmax Sep 24th, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Regardless of the reason or the history
    Lady bikers rallying to ride cross country
    Sounds like a “win-win” to me !!
    “Ride on & ride safe, ladies” !!!!

  11. 11 Chris Sep 25th, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Interpretation is the revenge of the intellectual upon art.

  12. 12 nicker Sep 25th, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Anyone who “interprets” hand shifting a motorcycle as “suicidal” is neither an intellectual or a biker.
    (they should be playing Golf)


Comments are currently closed.
Cyril Huze