The Inspired Tour
One woman’s journey to inspire women from coast-to-coast.
An inspirational journey that spans over a century.
It was 1915 when Ford rolled it one-millionth Model T off the assembly line. Babe Ruth hit his first home run and 25,000 women marched in New York City demanding the right to vote.
Effie Hotchkiss was a spirited young woman who worked on New York's Wall Street. At the age of 26, she heard the calling to 'Go West.' On May 2, 1915, Effie started out for San Francisco with a goal to see the country but little did she know what this trip would mean for her. This trip would secure Effie's place in history.
Effie didn't make this trip in a Ford Model T. She traversed the country on a motorcycle. People didn't believe she could or she should make this trip. Not only did she defy the norms of society in 1915, Avis and Effie Hotchkiss became the first women in history to ride a motorcycle from coast-to-coast, inspiring generations of women riders.
The Inspired Tour
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Reflecting on the Past
Effie didn't care about societal norms and what everyone else thought. She didn't buy into the naysayers who said she couldn't do it. Her dream was to experience the World's Fair in San Francisco and nobody was going to stop her.
As a mother, Avis wasn't exactly thrilled with this wild hair her daughter suddenly came up with. But the old adage of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' would tame this wild hair. So with inheritance funds, young Effie purchased a motorcycle, complete with a sidecar designed to carry robust Avis over 9,500 miles.
On May 2, 1915, Effie's bike was loaded with everything they would need to survive this journey west. One item that carefully made its way from New York to California was a Mason jar filled with water from the Atlantic Ocean.
Avis and Effie ran into their share of problems along the way. In addition to torrential rain, flooded roads, freezing cold and blazing hot temperatures, critters of both the human and animal kind, Effie put her mechanical skills to the test. They experienced countless breakdowns and endless punctured tires.
After months of traveling, Effie literally dipped her front tire into the Pacific Ocean and found her way into the record books. And that jar of water from the Atlantic Ocean? As it was custom of the day, Effie poured it into the Pacific to memorialize their journey, joining the east coast with the west coast.
It was time to head home.
Inspiring the Future
Speed ahead nearly 100 years... Ford has built more than 350 million vehicles. Barry Bonds holds the record at 762 home runs and Hillary Rodham Clinton captured more than 18 million votes in the 2012 Democratic Party primary.
On June 5th, 2015, two women embarked on a cross-country journey following in the tire tracks of Avis and Effie Hotchkiss. They, too, got to see the country but this coast-to-coast trip was intentionally designed to inspire women from New York to San Francisco.
It took Lisa and Kris fifteen days to ride across the country, tallying 4,690 miles. They, too, experienced the heat of Arizona, furnace-like wind of Missouri, torrential storms in CO, and the occasional dropped motorcycle. They also enjoyed the hospitality of complete strangers, the open arms of Harley Davidson dealerships, and witnessed the coming together of men and women in the name of inspiration.