Vintage #badgirlcrush – Motor Maids
This week’s #badgirlcrush is the motorcycle club, the Motor Maids, and their founders, Dot Robinson and Linda Dugeau.
Dot Robinson was a pioneer for promoting motorcycling for women in the middle of the 20th century and competed in countless endurance runs from the 1930’s-1950’s.
Dot was born on 22nd April 1912, in Australia, and motorcycles have been in her blood even before her birth, as her father, James Goulding, had to load Dot’s mother into a sidecar rig to take her to hospital when she went into labour!
Dot’s father was a sidecar designer and the family moved to America in 1918 and ran a motorcycle dealership in Michigan.
Dot earned her first race trophy in 1930 at the Flint 100 Endurance, and she and her husband made a record transcontinental run together in 1935.
Harley-Davidson asked the Robinsons if they would like to run a dealership and the couple moved to Detroit and opened a successful dealership which they ran until 1971.
By 1940, Dot won the famous Jack Pine Endurance Trophy in the sidecar class, becoming the first woman to win in an American Motorcycle Association national competition.
Linda Dugeau was also a pioneering motorcyclist and founder of the Motor Maids. Linda was an avid motorcycle rider and worked as a motorcycle courier with a reputation as one of the best female off-road riders in the 1950s.
Linda was born in Cape Cod on May 15, 1913 and her boyfriend, Bud, taught her to ride on an old Harley-Davidson JD when she was a 19-year-old college student.
With very few women riding motorcycles in America in the 1930’s, Linda started reaching out to other female riders she’d seen in magazines, Carol DuPont enlightened Linda to an organization of female flyers called the Ninety-Nine Club.
Linda decided female riders needed a club and began writing to motorcycle dealerships, AMA clubs and fellow riders to find as many she could to form a women’s motorcycling organization.
At the Laconia National in 1940, Linda met Dot Robinson, after an extensive three year search they located 50 female riders to form the Motor Maids in 1940 with 51 chartered members.
In 1941 the Maids received their chartered recognition from the American Motorcycle Association (AMA). Dot served as the organisation’s first president and Linda was the secretary.
The organization was instrumental in convincing many women to try motorcycling for themselves and uniting women to promote the sport and their activity was covered extensively with a monthly column in American Motorcyclist magazine.
A few members of the Motor Maids outside their Headquarters in the 1950’s.
In 1944 they held their first meeting in New Jersey and the club decided that royal blue and silver would make up their colours and a shield would represent the logo.
Dot passed away on 8th October 1999, and Linda followed on February 17, 2000 , but both will live on as a pioneers in motorcycling in America, and members of the American Motorcycle Association’s Hall Of Fame.
The Motor Maids is America’s longest running women’s club and now has 1300 members from states, with 2015 marking their 75th Anniversary.
Gloria Struck, one of the first members of the Motor Maids.
Here’s how to channel your inner Motor Maid with the new TOBG T-shirt collection :
|The Original Bad Girl Motorcycle T|
|The Original WILDCATS T|
|The ACE T|
And now you can add a touch of glamour to your look with the range of Besame Cosmetics available on the accessory section of the website.
Pair your Motorcyle T with rose petal lips and turned up vintage jeans for the perfect Bad Girl look! Don’t forget to add #tobgstyle & #theoriginalbadgirl to your photos so we can see how you style your Bad Girl items!
Patsy - Jungle Pat
(Columnist for The Original Bad Girl Blog)