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Way To Go, Girl! Activism, Rights and Amazing Journeys

Women riders doing amazing things

12/14/2009


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Activism Pays Off

Mona Ehnes accepts the Hall of Fame award from AMA President/CEO Rob Dingman. Mona's son, Russ, next to her, introduced his mother for the award.
Mona Ehnes accepts the Hall of Fame award from AMA President/CEO Rob Dingman. Mona's son, Russ, next to her, introduced his mother for the award.

It's always a big deal when a woman is honored in motorcycling by being inducted into one of the three halls of fame in the motorcycling industry. We salute Mona Ehnes, a long-time champion of off-highway motorcyclists' rights, on her induction in the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Motorcycle Hall of Fame in early December at a ceremony in Las Vegas. Mona charged into the fight for motorcyclists' rights in 1967 when controversial legislation was introduced that would have restricted off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding opportunities in her home state of Montana. Mona has been at the front lines of the OHV rights battle ever since, as a founding member of both the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association and the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association. She remains both an active advocate and off-highway motorcyclist today, and serves as executive assistant to the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council.
Mona delivers her acceptance speech. "I became an activist because I love to ride. I'm not competitive or fast. I just love motorcycling and having fun. I'm also part of the motorcycle community that the public doesn't see on TV or in the ads -- the family that rides together."
Mona delivers her acceptance speech. "I became an activist because I love to ride. I'm not competitive or fast. I just love motorcycling and having fun. I'm also part of the motorcycle community that the public doesn't see on TV or in the ads -- the family that rides together."

Mona riding in the mountains near where she lives in Great Falls, Montana.
Mona riding in the mountains near where she lives in Great Falls, Montana.

"Receiving this recognition is indescribable and is something I'd never even imagined," Mona said. "I hope this encourages all the activists out there to keep working, writing letters and comments, raising legal funds, attending meetings, cutting logs, swinging polaski's and pulling weeds." Way to go girl!

The Female Perspective
Speaking of the AMA, this summer a woman was appointed to the AMA Board of Directors, the first woman on the board in 10 years. Maggie McNally, a MSF Rider Coach residing in Albany, N.Y., will represent individual members from the country's Northeast region on the AMA Board. Maggie’s appointment fills the vacancy created when a former board member was unable to complete his term. Her term expires in February 2011. The last female board member was Patty Mills representing the South Central Region. She served from 1990 until 1999.

Maggie McNally's love for riding began when she was 11 and her cousin took her for a ride on a Triumph.
Maggie McNally's love for riding began when she was 11 and her cousin took her for a ride on a Triumph.

"I am thrilled to be joining a team of motorcycling giants in the joint effort to continue the promotion of the motorcycling lifestyle," Maggie said. "I look forward to bringing my personal experiences as a female rider into the mix, and hope to further the growth of female riders in all aspects of our sport. I believe the most important issues to motorcycling today are ensuring access to affordable motorcycle training programs throughout the country, the availability of the motorcycling experience to persons with disabilities, and a drive to make our sport enticing to youth of the inner city. Motorcycling is not just a suburban or rural sport anymore." McNally works for the State of New York as a voice/data communications specialist and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration degree. Congrats on your appointment, Maggie!

Awesome Journey
Alisa Clickenger is taking the trip of a lifetime all by herself. She is riding down to South America on her dual sport bike, a journey she's wanted to do for years. She's made the ride a fundraiser for breast and ovarian cancer cures and has dedicated it to all those who have been affected by these dreadful diseases. You following her journey on her blog, MotoAdventureGal.com.

Alisa is no different than most of us except she dreams big and is making those dreams come true. She stopped procrastinating, quit her job earlier this year and is now living life in a big way seeing new things and experience life-changing adventures. Wow! Check out her blog and then email her, post a comment, or donate to let her know you support and are following her -- so she knows she's not alone on this journey. Keep strong Alisa!

Get Your Motor Runnin'
For Cris Sommer Simmons, this phrase will mean a whole lot in September when she embarks on a cross-country ride on a 1915 Harley-Davidson Twin 3 Speed. She not only wants to get her motor runnin’, she wants to keep it runnin’ because she’s taking part in the Motorcycle Cannonball endurance run, a coast to coast ride on pre-1916 motorcycles happening September 10-25, 2010.

Cris with the vintage Harley she and husband, Pat, owns. She says, "Getting it running after sitting for 20 years is going to be a project, but I'm totally excited about the challenge."
Cris with the vintage Harley she and husband, Pat, owns. She says, "Getting it running after sitting for 20 years is going to be a project, but I'm totally excited about the challenge."

Cris reports she and her husband got the bike running after Cris was able to “kick it over.” Next task is taking the bike apart piece by piece to make sure it’s in riding condition. Cris says she is keeping a journal of the preparations and ride, and will film what she can of both as well. Only 50 people are allowed to enter the event. As far as she knows, there is only one other woman rider; she is from Bavaria and will be riding 1908 Triumph, which might just be the oldest bike in the race. If Cris’ name seems familiar it’s because she wrote the book, The American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950"reviewed on WRN. We’ll be rooting for you Cris! Visit MotorcycleCannonball.com for more info on the run.

Congrats To A 4-Wheeled Winner
Heidi Steele, an off-road truck racer sponsored by The Yokohama Tire Corporation, captured her second consecutive SCORE class championship by winning the tough 42nd annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in Ensenada, Mexico, in November. Heidi, who along with her team of Rene Bruger and Jamie Campbell, finished the 672.85- mile race in 20 hours, 30 minutes and 22 seconds. The win -- her second in the 1000 (she won it in 2005) -- also clinched her second SCORE title in two years. Last year, the San Clemente, California-based racer finished second in the 1000 but won the Class 7SX mid-size truck class. This time she won the Class 6 title, once again driving a Ford Ranger fitted with off-the-shelf Yokohama Geolandar M/T+ tires.

“Repeating as champion is very difficult,” said Steele, “but I have a great team, great sponsors like Yokohama and a great husband who really helps and supports me. This is a satisfying win for all of us.” Heidi’s husband is off-road racing legend and TV announcer Cameron Steele, who finished the Baja 1000 in 8th place in the Trophy Truck class and 11th overall for all Baja competitors. Last season, Steele etched her name in off-road history by being the first woman to win two major truck championships in one season, the Best in the Desert and SCORE. She also was named Dirt Sports magazine’s 2008 Driver of the Year, becoming the first female to win the coveted award. You rock, girlfriend!


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Reader Comments


FOR:
Wanda Plasko
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
12/14/2009

RE:
Doris Maron, from Alberta, Canada
In 2001 I sold everything I owned to travel around the world on my motorcycle. On August 4th, 2001 I set off from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on my brand new 750cc Honda Magna to begin my journey around the globe. Two years and eleven months later, after travelling in 44 countries on 6 continents, I crossed the border back into Canada arriving home on June 30th, 2004.

On this website you will find exciting stories from my journals and pictures I took as I travelled, mostly solo, into countries most people never dream of traveling; some published articles from local newspapers and continued updates on my upcoming book.

For more information please contact me at doris@untamedspirit.net. I hope you enjoy my site.

Patty Funk
Bend, Oregon
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I would like to say "Hear Me Roar" to all of the women who have accomplished their great feats. Women are finally recognized for all of the things on motorcycles and cars that everyone thought that they could not do. You are a great example for young women who have the urge but are afraid to try cycling. Now with you as role models it will be done. Keep up the good work and we appreciate you as being first in your accomplishments. Thank you for building our confidence in motorcycling, and four wheeled racing.

Eydie Penn
Cambridge, WI
Monday, January 25, 2010
This is great stuff! I just wanted to add my kudos to these wonderful women.

Christina Shook
San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I would like to extend my congratulations to the Women Riders Doing Great Things mentioned and interviewed above. Being impressed with their involvement in the motorcycling community is truly to be admired. I really enjoyed reading their stories. Thank you.

I would also love to read about another female rider who sold everything she had and went on a around the world tour, alone and un-sponsored on her bike. Her name is Doris Maron, from Alberta, Canada. Would it be possible to read an interview from Doris about her amazing story sometime soon on your site?

Wanda Plasko
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
Monday, December 14, 2009
Editor Response
We'll look into it. Thanks for the heads up.
Genevieve Schmitt, Editor


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