Vivian Bales, popularly known during her time as the “Enthusiast Girl,” was one of the first well-known women riders. After purchasing her first Harley-Davidson in 1926, she taught herself to ride and made her first long trip shortly afterwards. She traded in her old machine for a 1929 45 Twin D model and wrote in to The Enthusiast saying she was planning on making a cross-country trip. She started out from her hometown of Albany, Georgia on June 1, 1929. During the course of her trip, she met numerous dignitaries and Harley-Davidson dealers, most of whom went on to support her on her ride. She travelled for 78 days and even met President Hoover.
While Harley-Davidson did not officially sponsor her trip, they did provide her with two sweaters with the title “The Enthusiast Girl” on them and featured her on the cover of The Enthusiast. The company was also grateful for the good will she spread during her trip and Arthur Davidson called her “The Georgia Peach.” Vivian Bales Faison passed away on December 23, 2001 at the age of ninety-two.
Learn more about Vivian Bales, the “Enthusiast Girl,” in the Clubs and Competition Gallery at the Harley-Davidson Museum.