Australian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Nan Henry, Motorcyclist

June 1, 1915.


Page 27


One of the brightest spots in the motor cycling horizon at the present moment is the approach of the lady motor cyclist, who promises to be with us in pretty considerable numbers in the very near future.

In view of the extent to which motor cycling has interested the fair sex in England and America, we welcome the opportunity of having the views and experience of an English lady motor cyclist who has not been long in Australia, and who has a motor cycling experience in Great Britain, both in a business and sporting capacity, ranging over several months.

Miss Nan Henry, the lady of whom we speak, may be said to be doubly interested in matters motor cycling, as she is a keen rider herself, and is the sister of Mrs. J. H. Rhodes, another enthusiastic devotee of the new sport for women, and wife of Mr. J. H. Rhodes, who is connected with the motor cycle business here in Melbourne. [1]

Until September last Miss Henry held the position of lady demonstrator for one of the well-known Birmingham manufacturers, and during that time she rode in several of the open competitions for light-weight machines, in one of which, by the way, she had the unenviable experience of having the machine catch fire. This took place in the middle of a notorious test hill, which, however, she persevered in, and accounted for before dismounting, when the willing hands and coats of the official observers at the top of the hill helped her to overcome the trouble. not, however, before sufficient damage had been done to cause Miss Henry's retirement from the trial.

From her own experience. Miss Henry believes the average woman can quickly master the essential details necessary to enable her to effect her own occasional roadside repairs. As evidence of this, Mr. Rhodes tells us that he taught Miss Henry to ride in England some four years ago, and one week later she took a week-end trip, covering well over one hundred miles, entirely without any assistance, either in starting or adjustments.

In regard to the necessity for an "open frame," Miss Henry believes that, provided a proper costume is worn, the regular "closed " frame is preferable, even though it renders mounting and dismounting a little more difficult. "The question of dress," says Miss Henry, "is always a very important item in woman's life, and naturally one of the first things the intending lady motor cyclist asks is, 'What am I to wear'. I have tried a variety of styles and materials, and now pin my faith to a tweed Norfolk costume, skirt not too full, which buttons right down the front. This can be buttoned up when one is walking, and appears like an ordinary short walking skirt. Over all I wear a light three-quarter length coat, belted at waist, with storm collar, made of waterproof material. This acts equally well as a rainproof and dust coat, and enables me when I arrive at my destination to take off my outer. coat and feel comparatively fresh and presentable."

Miss Henry's mounts in the past have been the Precision "Junior," and one of the first experimental Precision Two Strokes; but the machine she has in the illustration is the "Clyno Two Stroke," which has quite caught her fancy. [2]

1. Mr Rhodes was the Manager of AG Healings
2. Clyno image not included. Little Giant image is from another article.
3. Miss Henry was a demonstrator for Little Giant.

Women in Motorcycling