Hall of Fame Inductee - 2008
Cristine Sommer-Simmons has enjoyed a lifetime love affair with two wheels. An eager passenger on her step-father’s motorcycle at age 9, she rode her first motorcycle solo at 14, got her first Harley at age 19 and has been riding ever since. She was a longtime member of the Women’s International Motorcycle Association and in 1984, co-founded the 2nd Chapter of Women in the Wind. A year later, in 1985 she co-founded the world’s first motorcycle magazine for women called Harley Women. For over 5 years she acted as co-publisher and editor, often riding her motorcycle across the country to find the stories. On one such ride in 1989 she met her husband-to-be, rocker and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Doobie Brother Patrick Simmons.
For several years Cris appeared in countless national newspaper articles, radio and television talk shows as a representative and advocate of the growing number of women riders. She holds an Honorary Lifetime membership to Women in the Wind and was a Sustaining Member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) for many years. In 1990, she was honored as a pioneering woman motorcyclist in the American Motorcycle Associations’ Women In Motorcycling exhibit in the AMA’s museum in Westerville, OH.
Cris has served as a freelance journalist for numerous motorcycle publications including American Iron, Motorcycle Collector, Iron Works, Easyriders, V-Twin to name a few, as well as magazines in Japan, Spain and in Australia. Cris also had her own column for over 12 years in the popular Japanese Harley magazine Hot Bike Japan.
In 2010, Cris embarked on a new adventure when she entered the first Motorcycle Cannonball endurance run. The run involved 45 motorcyclists on pre-1916 motorcycles riding 3,300 miles across the country. Cris rode a 1915 Harley she named "Effie" in honor of Effie Hotchkiss.