Not a whole lot changes in life, not really, and human behavior isn’t so far removed now from what it was when man took his first faltering steps.  I know men who I can easily envision replacing the men described in this article, but fortunately, I also know a lot more who respect and admire women riders for their pluck. 

I enjoy cooking.  I’ve written cookbooks and magazine articles and done live cooking demonstrations on local and national television.  I’m at home and comfortable in the kitchen.  I can also ride. I’m not as tenacious as some of the early women riders featured in my blog, but I do OK.  I’ve ridden from South Alabama to Pennsylvania with side tours along the way and a fabulous trek down Skyline Drive on the way home.  I am comfortable on my motorcycle.  I’m also quite comfortable with my multi-dimensional personality. 

I’d love to hear what the girls in this article thought about the attitudes of some of the men in the club.  I suspect the condescending attitude depicted is at least part of what prompted the formation of women’s riding groups.  Change would come slowly for these women, however, as it would be another 21 years before the Motor Maids was chartered to offer them an alternative. 

The following piece comes to you, courtesy of Motorcycling and Bicycling Aug. 27, 1919.

MISSOURI MEANDERINGS.  ‘GIRLS?  I should say not!  Whatta we wanna have girls riding with us for?’  Jim demanded, rising from his Morris chair in the club rooms for the West End Cyclists Club and reaching for the family cigarette case.  ‘They’d only spoil our fun on the trip.  We’d have to be too durn conventional, as y’ might say.”

And so it started.  The majority of the gang at the recent meeting of the club at which plans for the first annual motor run cross country—or that part of the country bounded by the Missouri state line—were formed, were in favor of permitting a few of the weaker sex to accompany us, but there were some opposed to the proposition.

Since the reorganization of the cycle club by the members of the old athletic club last winter the membership has increased to something like 35, all told.  It is a rare occasion, though that the entire membership can be found together.  During these delightful mornings and pleasant evenings one can always find a bunch of the gang around headquarters.  A number of them who left the last week of July for a trip to Cuba, Mo., by motorcycle are still away enjoying the dust of the country roads and other rural pleasures.

But to get back to the question of girls.  There are eight young women who are active members of the club, who pay their dues regularly, n’everything.  These girls are, in the opinion of the conscientious objectors, unfit to participate in the rides coming off this fall.  The members who favor the participation by girls hold that with a decision against them would come the dropping out in other activities by the girls.  And we are sure no one wants that. 

Girls as members of a cycling club come in handy once in awhile.  Especially at ‘blow-outs’.  At the June banquet of the West End Cyclists Club at the home of Lew Sullivan who was it that prepared such tempting chicken on toast, such salads and such desserts?  Why the girls, of course.  There are many such splurges scheduled for this winter.  And yet those fellows want to eliminate the feminine element!

Three of the girls in our club own motorcycles, four of them have brothers with motors, and the other one has accessibility to one at any time she desires.  And they all know how to operate and maintain a machine.  Owing to the fact that one of the girl’s father owns a gasoline filling station in St. Louis she is quite popular with the rest of us.

Ride safely! ©