1915 Harley-Davidson 11-F with Sidecar

In 1915 Effie Hotchkiss bought a new Harley-Davidson and attached a sidecar to carry her mother, Avis, as a passenger. The pair then set out from Brooklyn to see the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. Avis had instilled confidence in her daughter, and when asked if she had fears about the arduous cross-country journey, Avis replied, “I do not fear breakdowns, for Effie, being a most careful driver, is a good mechanic and does her own repairing with her own tools.” The pair were the first women to cross America by motorbike, at a time when the roads, where they existed, were simply horrendous. After visiting the Pacific Coast, the pair rode back to Brooklyn, for an epic 9,000-mile journey. Effie only used her pistol twice.

COURTESY OF URBAN S. HIRSCH III

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Angie Byrd