Juliette Steiner - Pioneer of Motorcycle life in Switzerland
Once upon a time...
It sounds like a fairytale, but it is real life!
In 1949 Juliette Steiner passed her motorcyle driving licence and started to travel. At the same time she entered the first competitions with other motorcycle amle pilots to race on the meadow (Rasenrennen). Between 1955 and 1960 she took part in several rallies and long distance competitions all over Europe. One of many was the long distance race Cannes-Genève-Cannes; which means 2.600 km crossing snow covered mountains and very often on roads that were not prepared for cars or motorcycles. Another one of the races she did several times was the 500 km around Genève. In 1957 she had been among the only 20 that arrived and was on the sensational 5th place.
In 1960, the dainty (zierlich) woman made her dream come true. Together with her husband Nesto she travelled to Munich to order her BMW. In the time when BMW's had to be black, she ordered a white one.
In 1958 Juliette Steiner was a founder member of the European section of WIMA together with 8 women from NL, GB and D. They first met in NL and had a competition week for women only in Scheveningen.
Unfortunately, in 1962 she had a serious accident without any fault of her own. After one year in hospital she left the clinic in a wheelchair. Handicapped for the rest of her life she kept contact with the motorcycle women and in 1976 she organized the international WIMA Rally in Yverdon.
It is a special luck and honour for the Swiss WIMA that we could celebrate her 85th birthday in November 2002.
She was living independently and alone in her beautiful house above Yverdon with a view over the Neuenburger lake and the Jura mountains until she died in 2006.
Text by Margrit Podesser, WIMA Switzerland