ANAMOSA – The year was 1916 when sisters Adeline and Augusta Van Buren climbed aboard their Indian motorcycles and headed west from Brooklyn to San Francisco in an effort to prove women could endure the long road and, thus, should be able to serve their country as members of the military.
A century later, a group of about 65 motorcyclists is recreating the ride and carrying a similar message of women’s empowerment.
“A lot of these women, they’ve never traveled across the country on a motorcycle,” said Alisa Clickenger, organizer of the 5,200-mile “Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride” and founder of Womens Motorcycle Tours. “Learning how to master the machine and whatever fears they might have or building skills, it translates into your everyday life.”
The group, which began the trip on July 4 and plans to finish on July 24, stopped Monday at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa. Among the riders was Dan Ruderman, Adeline Van Buren’s grandson, who further explained what the two sisters set out to do 100 years ago.
In 1915, Adeline and Augusta Van Buren wanted to join the military as couriers before America entered World War I. The sisters wanted to be dispatch riders on motorcycles, delivering urgent orders and messages for the military.