Motorcycle girls

Discussion in 'The Front Parlor' started by rocketeer, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. DecoDame

    DecoDame One of the Regulars

    I just came in from riding our newly purchased motor scooter around the neighborhood on errands. It's just a modest Suzuki '81 "rascal", but is fun. And 100 miles to the gallon. So there's that.

    That's a great pic, Frk.W !
     
  2. Dorota

    Dorota New in Town

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Dublin
    Just to revive the topic, I hope the ladies of the Lounge won't mind if I share the story of one of the early female Polish bikers and truly incredible woman Maria Wardasówna.
    Born on the 5th of July in 1907 as a daughter of a farmer in the village Roztropice, Maria was a strong-minded, ambitious girl. After finishing the primary school, she overcame her parent’s objections and continued her education in nearby Skoczów while still working on family farm. But she aimed for more – her next step was moving to Cracow and learning typing and shorthand, while making a living as a housemaid and a factory worker. She tried to find an occupation close to her home village, but she clearly didn’t fit in the small rural community anymore – she caused a huge stir among the locals by riding her new bicycle in a time when female cyclist haven’t been heard of in Silesia – so Maria moved again, this time to Cieszyn, finished a book-keeping course and in 1928 got employed as an office worker in County Department of Construction. But again, her wish to explore new territories got her into trouble. Maria, who loved to travel, decided she wanted a motorcycle. By cutting her expenses and saving hard, in two years she managed to buy one (for 2000 Polish Zlotys – by comparison, teacher’s monthly salary at that time was about 300 Polish Zlotys) – but the sight of her, riding her motorcycle and wearing trousers was too much for the citizens of Cieszyn. Numerous anonymous letters were sent to the City Council and Wardasówna was fired ‘for the behaviour unsuitable for public servant’.
    She didn't care much and she moved to Katowice, where, while working as a secretary, she joined Aeroclub of Silesia and obtained a pilot’s licence. In 1931 she took part in an air race around Poland (which she won) and as a result she became quite famous. Her short memoirs from that race were published, and that was the start of her later writer’s career.
    The years before the war Wardasówna spent working in the Institute of Culture and Education in Warsaw and writing, while still pursuing her two passions – flying planes and mountaineering. With the start of war Maria joined the partisan group ‘Wilki’, transporting weapons and carrying orders. The Gestapo was after her, but never managed to track her down (unfortunately, her sister Hanna wasn’t so lucky and she died from the hands of Gestapo in 1940).
    After the war Wardasówna worked in the government structures trying to rebuild Polish aviation, in February 1945 she was promoted to the position of the Commander of the Airport of the city Łódź, she also continued her literary career.
    She died in Warsaw in 1986.
    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any picture of her with her motorcycle, so there’s just two photos of herself after the Air Race around the Poland.

    Uczestniczki rajdu Danuta Sikorzanka z lewej i Maria Wardasówna przy samolocie na tarnopolskim l.jpg - in this picture Maria (on the right) is portrayed with another Polish pilot Danuta Sikorzanka.
    Zakonczenie-w-Krakowie-rajd.jpg - Maria is the first one from the right.

    Pretty good for a farmer's daughter, huh ;-) ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
    rocketeer and David Conwill like this.
  3. Dorota

    Dorota New in Town

    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Dublin
    Picture of my Grandma Władysława on a bike, July 1954 img124.jpg
     
    rocketeer and David Conwill like this.

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