You know her, you love her, it's Bessie Stringfield! We've talked about Bessie before, but she's such an icon of black motorcycling that I had to include her. Born sometime in 1911 or 1912—Miss Bessie told a lot of contradictory stories about her birth and background—Bessie Beatrice White started riding at the age of 16. She taught herself to ride on a 1928 Indian Scout, and at the age of 19 she set off to explore the country on her motorcycle. Can you imagine that? A 19-year-old black woman touring America in the early 30s on roads that were little better than goat paths? Throughout her life she rode everywhere, served as a bike courier during WWII, fought against racism and sexism, and looked fabulous doing it. Bessie died in 1993 at her home in Opa-Locka, Florida, leaving behind generations of young women inspired by the exploits of "The Motorcycle Queen of Miami". You can read more about Bessie here.