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Disguised as a man, Bessie won a flat track race but was denied the prize money after she took off her helmet.
Her other antics, such as riding while standing in the saddle of her Harley, attracted the attention of the local press.
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Bessie has been mentioned in books, magazines, newspapers and television documentaries.
In 1990, when the American Motorcyclist Association opened its Motorcycle Heritage Museum, Bessie featured in its inaugural exhibit on Women in Motorcycling.
w=291" data-large-file="https://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/npk001260.jpg? w=465" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19469" title="Harlem Motorcycle Gang" src="https://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/npk001260.jpg?
w=700" alt="" srcset="https://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/npk001260465w, https://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/npk001260.jpg? w=145 145w, https://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/npk001260.jpg? w=291 291w" sizes="(max-width: 465px) 100vw, 465px" /Robert Franks’s “Indianapolis”– A very cool & good-looking couple riding with style, and clearly ahead of their time.
On divorcing her third husband, Arthur Stringfield, she said, “He asked me to keep his name because I’d made it famous!
She learned how to weave a makeshift bridge from rope and tree limbs to cross swamps, although she never had to do so in the line of duty. She played down her courage in coping with such incidents. In the 1950s, Bessie bought a house in Miami, Florida.
With a military crest on the front of her own blue Harley, a “61,” she carried documents between domestic U. She became a licensed practical nurse and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club.
The image above illustrates the beginning of the African-American motorcycle culture– World War II.
The famous Tuskegee Airmen braved racisim from both sides, and through heart and perseverance won the respect of their fellow American soldiers and German enemy alike.
Text mostly © 2002, American Motorcyclist Association ca.