On May 2, 1915, Effie Hotchkiss and her mother Avis left Brooklyn, New York on the adventure of a lifetime.
Effie Hotchkiss was not your average Victorian-era girl. A young professional who longed for something more, Effie quit her job and used a small inheritance to purchase a V-Twin Harley-Davidson. She wanted to see America. After teaching herself to ride and handle repairs, she planned a cross-country trip to attend the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
Reluctant to let her daughter travel cross-country alone, Avis insisted on tagging along. A sidecar was rigged to the bike and the mother/daughter duo left Brooklyn on May 2, 1915. They spent the next two months traveling 5,000 miles through every type of terrain and weather imaginable. Once they arrived in San Francisco, they rode their motorcycle right to the shore and dipped their toes (and tires) in the Pacific Ocean. The mother/daughter team became the first female motorcycle riders to successfully complete a transcontinental ride across the United States.
Effie and Avis Hotchkiss finally returned to their home in Brooklyn in October of 1915. They traveled approximately 9,000 miles and covered more than one-third of the United States in five months, securing their place in the history books.
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