Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride to include August 3rd stop in Missoula
Retired JRPC Director Betsy Mulligan-Dague to participate
The Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride presented by Harley-Davidson is a cross-country women’s motorcycle tour and event July 31- August 20, 2021, commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. Celebrating the principles of unity, community, and freedom of the road, the Centennial Ride is dedicated to all women who have fought for equality in the voting booth, in business, and in life.
Tuesday, August 3rd will see Missoula, Montana among the cities where the SCMR21 ride will be stopping along the way. Missoula is the site of the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center. In November 1916, four years before the Nineteenth Amendment guaranteed the right of women to vote, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the United States Congress. After four years of introducing legislation on behalf of the women’s suffragist movement and tirelessly championing the issue, Congress passed women’s right to vote into law in 1920.
The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center’s recently-retired Executive Director Betsy Mulligan-Dague happens to ride a Harley-Davidson in her spare time, and is looking forward to participating in the Suffragists Centennial Motorcycle Ride.
“No commemoration of suffrage and the sacrifices made by empowered, dedicated women would be complete without including Missoula’s own Jeannette Rankin. Because of her, Montana was one of the first states to grant women the right to vote, and Ms. Rankin went on to be the first woman elected to Congress.”
“I am excited to share Jeannette’s story with women who may never have heard of her contribution. And personally to be able to participate in this ride is such a meaningful thing for me as I retire from my long tenure leading the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center.”
The Centennial Ride is produced by Alisa Clickenger and her company, Women’s Motorcycle Tours, with the help of a dedicated team of motorcycle wonder women. Clickenger produced the 2016 Sisters’ Centennial Motorcycle Ride, celebrating the achievements of the Van Buren sisters – the first women to each ride her own motorcycle across the USA in 1916.
The event will begin on July 31st in Portland, Oregon. Prior to stopping in Missoula on August 3rd, the group will travel up Highway 12 from Lewiston, Idaho and over Lolo Pass before arriving here. The following day (Wednesday, August 5th) will see the group continue on to Butte and beyond with stops to tour Yellowstone National Park, Sturgis, and Badlands National Park. Additional travels beyond will pass through the rest of South Dakota, then Minnesota, and on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the home of Harley-Davidson.
The Harley-Davidson Motor Company is welcoming the Centennial Riders to its iconic location with museum tours, women’s motorcycle group rides, special exhibits, and a party to honor all the riders. After Milwaukee, the ride carries on through Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and spends two nights in Knoxville, Tennessee, celebrating the state’s pivotal role in women’s suffrage being the 36th and final state to sign the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s right to vote.
“I love wrapping motorcycle events around historical events, particularly centennials, in order to highlight our history as a nation and at the same time expanding the positive image of motorcyclists and motorcycling. In my opinion, traveling across America on a motorcycle is the best way to experience the freedom of the road and understand how truly spectacular our nation is,” said Clickenger. “When I created the itinerary, I included the best roads, the best sights, and the best cities, and I just love riding in Montana, and Missoula is always a special stop. I’ll be bringing the group to the Rankin Peace Center on Tuesday, August 3rd from 6-8 pm, and I am so excited that the Peace Center’s retired director will be commencing the new phase of her post Peace Center life by riding and celebrating with us.”
“I’d love for Missoulans to come out to meet the riders, support the Peace Center through purchases or generous donations, and find out exactly why it’s so important to highlight the remarkable women who paved the way for our personal freedom. “
Registration is still open at www.CentennialRide.com for those interested in signing up for a portion of the Centennial Ride, with options for the trip fully-supported by the organizers, and self-guided options for those who would prefer more of a DIY / pay-as-you go way to be part of the ride. Participants can ride just selected segments of the route, or the entire trip, as they choose.
The Centennial Ride ends outside D.C., where the 19th Amendment was signed into law, at the 2021 Women’s Motorcycle Conference in Arlington, Virginia, where all cross-country riders and Conference attendees will come together in celebration.
Also produced by Clickenger, the Conference theme is “Celebration”– celebrating women of history and women motorcycle riders worldwide. Admission to the Conference is separate from the Centennial Ride.