Dot was born on April 22, 1912 in Australia, moving to America in 1918 when her father wanted to expand the Goulding Sidecar business. Dot and Earl Robinsons were married in 1931. Dot empowered women when efforts to prevent her from competing in endurance runs failed. She competed throughout the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s.
In founding the Motor Maids, Dot set out to unite women riders, to show that you could ride a motorcycle and still be a lady. There was never a time you saw Dot without makeup. Away from her motorcycle, she looked ready to step in or out of a fashion magazine.
One favorite story told by “Hap,” the Honda dealer in Sarasota, FL, is a story I never tire of hearing. He tells of how he “chased that woman for two days, through mud and trees” and never caught her. At the end of the race, all the guys tramped into the local bar, but not Dot. She went to her room and got cleaned up first. “I’ll never forget the picture: Dot walking into the bar in a black sheath dress and a pill box hat.” Dot was always a lady.
Dot set a standard for women motorcyclists. She proved that you can be a lady and still ride a motorcycle. She paved the way for women to ride motorcycles. The women of the nineties can still be professional women, doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, accountants, clerks, cashiers, home-makers, mothers, grandmothers, and they can still step outside, throw a leg over a bike and take off cross country. She proved that you can be a lady, still compete with the men and not be a man-hater.
Dot was a woman before her time. In 1939, following up on the idea formulated by Linda Dugeau, Dot rode all over the United States looking for women who owned and rode their own motorcycles. She found 51 ladies who became the charter members of the Motor Maids of America, now known as the Motor Maids. To this day, the founding premise that the group consist of women who own and ride their own motorcycle is still the backbone of the organization.
On October 8, 1999 we lost Dot. She was 87 year old.