AMA Honors Margaret Wilson with Bessie Stringfield Award

The award honors women for their contributions to, involvement with, and accomplishments in motorcycling.

The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Board of Directors has presented its Bessie Stringfield Memorial Award to Maragret Hamilton of Cedar Rapids, Iowa for over five decades of involement and contributions to motorcycling.

The award, for "Superior Achievement by a Female Motorcyclist," is named for the remarkable "Motorcycle Queen of Miami," Bessie Stringfield, an African-American woman, who broke down barriers for women and African American motorcyclists at the same time, by completing eight solo cross-country tours and serving as a U.S. Army motorcycle dispatch rider in the 1940s. It is presented from time to time to women who the AMA board feels deserve special recognition for their motorcycling activities.

Hamilton has been extensively involved in local and national motorcycle organizations and, with her husband Mike, as a dealer in Iowa. The AMA's release below gives details.


_PICKERINGTON, OHIO -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that Margaret Wilson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the latest recipient of the AMA Bessie Stringfield Memorial Award for Superior Achievement by a Female Motorcyclist. The presentation took place on Saturday, October 4, during ceremonies connected with the 2003 Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductions.

The award, presented to Margaret for more than 50 years of active involvement, leadership, and excellence in motorcycling, recognizes individual women who have been instrumental in showing other women they can be active participants in the world of motorcycling. Created in 2000, the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award is presented to those acknowledged by their peers as true leaders in the sport, women who have had a significant positive impact on the role and image of women in motorcycling over a sustained period of time.

Margaret's love of motorcycling began in 1946, when her husband, Mike, gave her a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Beginning in 1950 and for the next 25 years, Margaret and Mike also were business partners in Wilson's Motorcycle Sales of Cedar Rapids. She's a Golden Life Member of the Motor Maids, having joined this renowned national women's motorcycle organization in 1951, and she helped form the Corn State Riders Motorcycle Club in the early 1950s. Over the years she has assisted with many motorcycle races and events, and has logged more than 555,000 miles throughout the United States and Canada. Margaret and Mike currently both serve on the Board of Directors of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum and are among the Museum's principal benefactors.

"There may be no better role model for women, whether or not they ride motorcycles, than Margaret Wilson," said Robert Rasor, President of the AMA. "Her personal energy and passion, as well as her inestimable contribution to motorcycling over nearly six decades, makes her most deserving of the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award."

Nominations for the AMA Bessie Stringfield Award for Superior Achievement by a Female Motorcyclist may be submitted by any member of the Association. It is bestowed from time to time at the pleasure of the AMA Board of Directors. Past recipients of the award include Patti Carpenter and Rita Coombs. _

With her husband Mike (right) beside her, Wilson receives the award from AMA President Rob Rasor. Photos courtesy of American Motorcyclist Association.