29 October 2016

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Clara Wagner

At just 15 years of age, Clara was the first female issued a Federation of American Motorcyclists card. The F.A.M. was the first organized motorcycle club in America, established on 1903 and by 1909 had over 3,000 members.

Clara was the daughter of motorcycle manufacture George Wagner from St. Paul, MN. One of George's innovations was the introduction of the first motorcycle manufactured specifically designed for women called the "Ladies Drop-Frame Model".

Clara was quite the accomplished rider, skilled mechanic and compete in many events where she was the only female rider.

On the morning of October 7, 1910 she set off on the 365-mile F.A.M. Western District Endurance run from Chicago to Indianapolis, riding a 4 horsepower Wagner motorcycle. Through unpaved roads riddled with mud, potholes and rocks, Clara not only finished the run she also attained a perfect score but was denied a trophy because she was a woman. In protest, fifty of her fellow riders chipped in and gave Clara a gold pendant for her achievement and that made her the first woman in America to win a competitive motorcycle event.

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