Cris Sommer-Simmons

October 25th, 2018

I had a great talk with Cris Sommer-Simmons was co-founder of Harley Women, considered the first widely distributed magazine for women riders. Cris was active in promoting motorcycling through her roles as author, columnist, songwriter and motorcycle journalist.

Cris was born and raised in the Chicago area. She got her first taste of motorcycling as a passenger on the back of her stepfather’s Honda 750 when she was 9 years old. At 15, she got her own motorcycle. 

n 1994, Cris wrote and self-published the award winning children’s motorcycle book, "Patrick Wants to Ride," for which she was honored with the AMA’s Hazel Kolb Brighter Image Award. The book went into its third printing and sold over 12,000 copies.

In 1996, Cris was one of four women featured in an original documentary on women motorcyclists for Turner Broadcasting called "Biker Women." This show was well received and set viewing records for an original documentary for that year.

She just recently got back from an epic adventure in early September when she set out astride a vintage 1928 Harley-Davidson on the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run.

Around 100 riders set off on the approximately 3,750-mile journey from Portland, Maine to Portland, Ore., on America’s back roads with fewer than a dozen on interstate highways.

It's the most difficult antique endurance run in the world, the Motorcycle Cannonball is a homage to long-distance pioneer, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker, and other historical figures that paved the way across the country in the early 1900s.

 

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