Motorcycle Cannonball Update. Part 9.

At 2 stages from arrival on the Pier of Santa Monica, it’s time to give a special tribute to the only 2 women of the Cannonball. On the left, American Cris Sommer Simmons, riding “Effie” her beloved 1915 Harley-Davidson, (Class 3) And on the right German Katrin Boehner riding the oldest motorcycle of the Run, a 1907 J.A.P. (Class 1). No doubt that both women are going to complete the cross country ride this Sunday and consequently have their names enter history books and become the absolute reference for all lady riders looking for role models.

Cris Sommer Simmons is co-founder of Harley Women, the first women’s motorcycle magazine, is a freelance motorcycle writer/photographer. and a three-time Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee, In 2009 she authored the best seller “The American Motorcycle Girls, 1900-1950” still the #1 motorcycle pictorial book sold on Amazon. Her Cannonball motorcycle is named “Effie” as a tribute to a young woman named Effie Hotchkis who 95 years ago decided she wanted to travel coast to coast. She purchased a 1915, 3 Speed V-Twin Harley-Davidson with some money she had inherited, but her mother Avis told her she couldn’t make that trip alone because it was too risky. Mother and daughter agreed that Effie would buy a sidecar, and Avis would make the trip with her. It took them 2 months to travel from Brooklyn, NY to San Francisco, California. Young lady Effie had dipped her toes into the water of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. At the start of the Cannonball in North Carolina, Cris Sommer Simmons filled a small jar with some water from the Atlantic ocean that she carries in one of her saddlebags during all the Run. On Sunday, at arrival in Santa Monica, she will pour this water on the Pacific Ocean…Cris Sommer-Simmons has an all ladies supporting crew (Athena Ramson, Laura Klock & Toast) her husband Pat. As of Friday evening September 24th, her 1915 Harley-Davidson ranks 14th in Class 3, and 20th overall.

Katrin Boehner is a German woman who surprised all Cannonballers by taking the number one position during the first 2 days of the Run. She rides a 1907 J.A.P., a motorcycle produced by a small English manufacturing company founded in 1859 by John Alfred Prestwich (explaining the abbreviation J.A.P.) The bike is a single speed motorcycle with no clutch, gear driven, requiring to be pushed by running alongside to get it started! Katrin does her acrobatic start several times a day especially on steep hills! I hear that it’s quite a spectacle seeing this little woman pushing her motorcycle, running with it until it gets started with the final jump on the saddle while the bike is in movement. With her husband Dieter Echel, also in the Run riding a BSA, they will be the 1st European couple completing the motorcycle Cannonball. As of today, Katrin is leading Class 1 and is 17th overall,

These 2 women are an inspiration not only for her fellow lady riders but for all motorcyclists around the world. On Sunday on the Santa Monica Pier, please give them a special ovation for their exceptional courage and dedication to our sport. (photography courtesy Martin Two feather)

10 riders have ridden all the 2958 miles since the start September 10th. 2 Excelsior years 1913 & 1914 still leading the group. Riders arrived in Laughlin, Nevada. Below the updated ranking at end of stage 14. Two more stages to go before arrival in Santa Monica, CA.

11 Responses to “Motorcycle Cannonball Update. Part 9.”

  1. 1 nicker Sep 24th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    You-all are AWESOME….!!!

    Thanks for sharing your experience.


  2. 2 Old boardtrack wannabe Sep 24th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    WOW! TWO LADIES us guys can look UP to!

    I’M not worthy!


    YOU MORE than have MY RESPECT!

    MY hat (bows down to you) is off to you!!!





    I WANT ONE……….OR A HUNDRED!!!!!!!


  3. 3 McScooter Sep 25th, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Your efforts and achievements are inspiring ladies! To all who have particpated I wish you the best in the remaining journey! You have all been interesting to watch and everyone deserves a medal. Thank you!

  4. 4 Sep 25th, 2010 at 8:14 am

    These 2 ladies are real troopers as this is no cake walk on these early bikes. Nobody looks as fresh when those pictures were taken. Hats off to all the participants.

  5. 5 Brad Sep 25th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Awesome women. Awesome event. Thanks to all participants and to you Cyril for great stories.

  6. 6 Larry R Sep 25th, 2010 at 9:46 am

    History in the making with the beautiful ladies represented by two stunning ladies. Kudos, girls, Kudos.

  7. 7 martin Twofeather Sep 25th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Thanks Cyril

  8. 8 Brandon Sep 25th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Superb ladies. Soon you gonna smell the ocean.

  9. 9 golfish Sep 25th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I feel for the riders today. I’m on the other side of the hill from Victorville and its 108 outside right now. Going to be hotter tomorrow..

  10. 10 Sep 25th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Right on…er ride on ladies! Congrats on your journeys. Kudos to all that participated. Wish I could have rode it myself!

  11. 11 Pepper Massey Sep 26th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I am so inspired by these two spirited and dedicated riders. Not the first time women have made history, and certainly not the first on two wheels, however this amazing accomplishment makes us all incredibly proud of Cris and Katrin. Brava ladies!

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