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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









Book Preview: Grace and Grit

Motorcycle dispatches from early 20th century women adventurers

By Genevieve Schmitt, Editor
7/18/2016

I love to collect books on early women pioneers, and one of these days, when life gets slower, I plan to read them word for word instead of just a chapter here, and a paragraph there, etc.

One of the books I've added to my collection because it features early female motorcycling pioneers is "Grace and Grit" by William M. Murphy. I love that the cover is "graced" with the now familiar faces of Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, the sisters who made a transcontinental journey on motorcycles in 1916 and about whom this year's Sisters' Centennial Motorcycle Ride is commemorating. 

grace and grit cover
"Grace and Grit," by William M. Murphy is a soft cover 208-page book, measuring 6 by 9 inches. It has a few photos, maps, and historical documents that are all in black and white.

"Grace and Grit" was published in 2012, but I just received a copy this year because of the timing of the Sisters' Ride happening in July. Not since the The American Motorcycle Girls, by Cris Sommer Simmons, came out in 2009 has a book spotlighted the amazing and inspiring feats of early women motorcycle riders. 

"Grace and Grit" has eight chapters chronicling the early years of the 1900s when inroads were being made by car, plane, and motorcycle with a focus on the women motorcyclists who dared venture out in pursuit of their dreams. Along with the Van Buren sisters, you'll find stories that include Effie and Avis Hotchkiss, and Della Crew.

This book will inspire today's female adventurers to follow their passions no matter the obstacles. You can purchase it at BooksByWilliamMurphy.com. Cost is $17.95.

Related Articles
Pioneer Profile: Van Buren Sisters' Motorcycle Ride for Women's Rights
The American Motorcycle Girls
Sisters' Centennial Motorcycle Ride
More Pioneer Profiles


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