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Girlriders 1

Here you are Introduced to some of the wonderful and awe inspiring women who risked their lives riding the Walls over the years!


Cookie Ayers (later to marry and become Cookie Crum!) trickriding her Indian Scout on the Wall (circa 1950)! This beautiful, humorous, positive thinking woman introduced herself to me last year - and contacted me online this year. Turns out she rode with Sonny Pelaquin’s brothers, Russ and Joe! We are friends now, and I feel as if I’ve known her my whole life! So great to have another woman trickrider(who GETS it) to tell stories with! Thanks Cookie! Cookie has also been nominated for the Sturgis Museum Hall of Fame - cast your vote - this gal is a true pioneer for women in the sport of wall riding! There were very few women trick riders in over 100 years of the sport/show - and she was one of the best (also had the best smile!) -Sam

Below: Cookie on the ballyhack with Russ Pelaquin behind her on left

Below - Cookie sidesaddle

Below -Cookie’s dsughter Michele visiting the drome 50 years later!

Above - Michele with her two daughters - Erika 22yrs old (left) and Micah
24 yrs old (right) with Michele who is now 53 yrs older than she was in
the  picture (above right) taken on her third birthday. Since neither one
of Cookie's Grand Kids had ever seen a Motor Drome they drove down to
Anderson,  Ca. so they could see what "Grandma" used to do!!

Below: Cookie’s daughter Michele on the ticketbox! Cookie retired after Michele became school age. That’s the way.

Below: Cookie doing the race with Lloyd Kennedy.

ALICE BRADY the “Mile a Minute Girl”¯ (Barkoot Shows)

After Riding (notice the hair & ribbon!)

Before Riding

When I was a kid -riding for Sonny, he used to call me "the Mile a Minute  girl"..(I always thought it was because I rode fast!).  In 1993, a friend, Guy Jones (Acorn Railroad Construction, Mass.), came to visit my big (ol’ lion)Drome at the Antique Bike Swapmeet in Volusia County during Bike Week. He gave me these pictures, and made me cry(!) ( above & right)...Thanks so very much, Guy! He also has given me a kill button and proper cam for my 101 Indian Scout! What a great guy!  -Sam

Viola Pelaquin

Sonny's mom!
(this picture was taken in the early1920s). (love those knickers!)
...Sonny was born in the Motor  Drome...and got to grow up around the Lions! His mom rode until 1929, when her  first son, Joe Jr. was born
(Pelaquin Motor Drome family).

La Vonnie (Royal  American Shows)

Vonnie came from a circus family.. and rode billed as "La Vonnie". She was 4'  10" and 90 somethin' lbs soakin' wet! She could barely touch the ground when on her Indian Scout! .
Vonnie was married to Sonny's brother Joe for a long while, and while they were together they were the best trickriding team that  anyone had ever seen - they could change bikes up on the Wall! Unfortunately, due to their “artistic” temperments, the Dromes they worked were not the most peaceful places on earth!....
...They had their own Lion Dromes (as did  Sonny's dad), and bred their own lions, as well as working Dromes for other  shows...
...Everyone loved Vonnie, although she was not known for having the most peaceful had to be tough...and Vonnie was!   She WAS known for  always carrying a wrench in her back pocket...and performing "attitude  adjustments " regularly

Marjorie Kemp (World at Home Shows)

Not only was this lady a Dromerider who rode a bike as well as driving a  dromecar with a lion in the sidecar, - she also rode a Globe of Death! She came from a Motordrome family, and they had one of the greatest, most wonderful Lion Dromes of the time!
...This particular article was sent to me in 1993 by Jim Lawrence (International Productions, Tampa, Fla.). The article is dated Sept. 26, 1925

Heather Henderson (Conklin Shows (1981),Canada)

(Above & right ) Heather’s a great gal to whom Sam had the pleasure of teaching to ride the Wall!  These pics are from Canada 1981, when Sonny Pelaquin had the big (ol’ lion)Drome on Conklin Shows.
Heather learned to ride a motorcycle after the go-kart. She is now married w/children.

Left; This picture is of Sam & Heather in their racing stripes ('81), after the shorts ban. We were on the Big Drome in Canada with Sonny Pelaquin on Conklin Shows. The Drome was open 16 hrs a day! We had 2 shifts; 7am  -5pm, & 5pm - 3am! We did four 12 minute shows an hour - with 3 minutes in between each show to let the old crowd go out and the new one come in! The riders directed traffic. Man, did we have saddlesores! It was the most riding we ever did in our life! Best of All - we had NO ACCIDENTS...thanks to the Mad Penguin!

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