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STRANGE OLDE MOTORCYCLE GALS - DOT ROBINSON - FIRST FEMALE TO MAKE LADIES ON MOTORCYCLES ACCEPTABLE AND WIN NUMEROUS RACES

It sure looks like it could be her. What an amazing woman!

Dot Robinson was an incredible woman who made huge contributions to women in motorcycling. It can be said that she had the most impact and helped the most in elevating the importance and involvement of women in our sport. Not only did she break down tremendous barriers but also “walked the walk” when it came to riding and racing, wracking up thousands of miles on the street as well as racing and winning off-road, she did it all.
Dot Robinson is probably best known for being the driving force behind the Motor Maids, which was a group formed for women involved with riding motorcycles, and it was the first of its kind back in 1941. This was a huge accomplishment as the general public was firmly against women participating in any type of motorcycling activities… except riding passenger. She was not only a rider but a racer as well, competing and having success on the AMA Enduro circuit.
Dot’s family lived motorcycles. Her father was James Goulding, an Australian sidecar racer who moved to Michigan. The legend says when her mother was going to give birth to Dot; Goulding tore off to the hospital with her in a sidecar…figures.
Goulding owned a motorcycle dealership in Saginaw and Dot was a regular fixture there, interacting with both customers and the riding public in general. Obviously this contributed to her being forever imprinted with the two-wheeled fever that is motorcycling.
Dot began riding and racing at an early age, spurred on by her father. And hanging around at his shop certainly made a huge impression on her two-wheeled outlook! She won her first trophy in 1930 at the Flint 100 Endurance race. Then she entered the Jack Pine National Endurance and won in the sidecar class, becoming the first woman ever to win this event.
Dot did find time for other things in life… in 1931 she married fellow motorcycle enthusiast Earl Robison and they also made history with a record transcontinental run together in 1935, soon after this feat Harley-Davidson asked the Robinsons if they would open a dealership, and they then moved to Detroit and opened one up, and it ran until 1971 when they sold it — and many loyal customers were dismayed to see it go.
Next up was Dot’s work with the Motor Maids. The Motor Maids were established the early 40’s and was the first documented female motorcycle club. They concentrated on introducing motorcycles and riding to women who otherwise may have had no way to participate. The Motor Maids were well-known and well-regarded among the other AMA clubs and welcomed at the AMA Rallies and gatherings, and Dot even wrote a popular monthly column in the AMA magazine.
In the late 40’s and early 50’s Dot began to wear her signature pink riding outfits and she became known for her unique sense of style… and many emulate that style to this day and the manufacturers still offer it. It has been speculated that she felt the black leather look was not good for the sport and intimidated “civilians”.
Earl Robinson passed in 1996, and Dot kept right on riding until the age of 85, when knee replacement surgery made it painful to get in her sidecar rig. She passed away 2 years later, at the wise old age of 87.
She will be missed by the motorcycling community, Dot Robinson, we salute you.
 

STRANGE OLDE MOTORCYCLE GALS - DOT ROBINSON - FIRST FEMALE TO MAKE LADIES ON MOTORCYCLES ACCEPTABLE AND WIN NUMEROUS RACES






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