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Effie Hotchkiss Effie Hotchkiss

With her mother Avis became the first women to cross America on a motorcycle in 1915.

Effie Hotchkiss was born in New York City in 1894. She bought her first motorcycle--a Marsh & Metz--at the age of 16. In 1915, she bought a Harley-Davidson twin and decided to ride to San Francisco to see the Pan Pacific Exposition. Effie's mother, Avis, joined her in a sidecar, and the pair became the first women to cross the United States with a motorcycle, completing a 9,000-mile round-trip in six months. Their equipment was held to an absolute minimum, including tent, blankets, pots, pans, two rubber ponchos--which served as both riding cloaks in the daytime and sleeping robes at night--a pistol, a medicine kit, an ax and a toolbox. At one point they stuffed their tires with blankets because all of their inner tubes had been destroyed by punctures.