They came from near and far on a sky blue morning during Daytona Bike Week 2012
, women from all walks of life with a common passion – the love of motorcycling. Over 130 sisters of the saddle gathered at Harley-Davidson’s Beach Street location to share in this love and to raise
Over 130 women motorcyclists raised more than $35,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association during the fifth annual Harley-Davidson MDA Women's Ride.
Cat, Vicki Sanfelipo and Laura Klock helped lead the group of gals participating in the Harley-Davidson MDA Women's Ride.
money during the fifth annual Harley MDA Women’s Ride. In all, the posse with a purpose raised over $35,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as they showed their pride on their rides, rumbling down Main Street past people waving in appreciation. The procession would continue the parade down Riverside Drive before riding out by Tomoka State Park on their way to Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona.
The collective was led by some of the most influential women in the motorcycle industry. Among the group was the always effervescent Karen Davidson, daughter of Willie G., who helped develop Harley-Davidson MotorClothes into the multi-million dollar business it is now and currently serves as the Creative Director for General Merchandise Harley-Davidson. There was the inspirational author of “The American Motorcycle Girl’s Cannonball Diary” Cris Sommer-Simmons who etched her name in the record books as the only American female competitor in last year’s Motorcycle Cannonball Coast-to-Coast Endurance Run. Land speed record holder and soon to be inductee into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame Laura Klock stepped up to support the cause, as did RN Vicki Sanfelipo, who founded a program called “A Crash Course for the Motorcyclist” that aims to educate people on what to do if they encounter a motorcycle accident, from assessing the situation to assisting the injured.
But the show stealer of the day was 11-year-old MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Abbey Umali who was all smiles after her ride out to Destination Daytona. Her enthusiasm was still apparent as the spunky girl from Redlands, California sang a rousing tribute to America and shouted “Girls Rock!” as she received a standing ovation for her efforts.
Ladies participating in the ride received a big treat at Destination Daytona when Doobie Brother Pat Simmons
took the stage to do an acoustic set, mesmerizing the crowd with his harmonic voice and fluid finger pickin’ on
Doobie Brother Pat Simmons performed an acoustic set for the ladies participating in the Harley MDA Ride.
guitar. Besides being a musician, Simmons is also an avid motorcyclist and a big fan of antique bikes. Afterwards, Pat would join his wife Cris Sommer-Simmons and accomplished artist David Uhl as the trio signed copies of Cris’ latest book and giclee prints of Uhl’s “Leading Ladies” featuring Sommer-Simmons as the subject on the 1915 Harley she rode in the Cannonball Endurance Run.
Heading into its fifth year, the Harley-Davidson
MDA Women’s Ride had raised $179,000. The event shows no signs of slowing down as Sommer-Simmons believes more women showed up this year than in 2011. Shelley, Sandy, and Mandy Rossmeyer deserve a big shout-out for helping organize this year’s event.