Thunder Angels Panama City First Women’s Bike Club in Florida

First Women's Bike Club in Florida

While some ladies prefer the view from the passenger seat, others have gone on to become accomplished motorcycle riders in their own right. Even today there aren’t too many female-only motorcycle clubs in the United States.

The Panama City Thunder Angels MC have been on a mission to improve female representation in the bike club world since 2001. That year, they made history as the first female motorcycle club not just in Panama City but in all of Florida’s Panhandle.

Since then, the Angels have been riding strong, raising money and awareness for worthy causes like breast cancer.

The Beginning

Barbara Jones and six charter members founded the ladies-only club back in 2001. At the time, Jones was a newbie motorcyclist and wanted someone to ride with. With Panama City’s bike scene being predominantly male, she decided to start a club of her own.

This is how the Panama City Thunder Angels MC was born. The group insignia aptly reflects the club’s name: It features a heart with angel wings spread above it and a lightning bolt piercing the center.

The club took off quickly. Over time, the group grew to 50 members at one point and even went on to spawn three other female moto clubs in the area as more Florida women discovered the joy of motorcycling.

Male clubs and riders welcomed the Thunder Angels to the local bike scene. Today, when the ladies band together for motorcycle events like Thunder Beach and have guys join on runs, the men are happy to ride in the back of the group.

Riding for Good Causes

In 2004, Thunder Angels chapter member Glenda Sullivan was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her diagnosis marked a turning point for the group, which has since become one of the biggest local supporters of breast cancer awareness and fundraising.

Paula Smith, the club’s president, also had her aunt diagnosed with breast cancer. A few of her other family members also suffered other forms of cancer as well, further cementing the Thunder Angels’ personal connection to the fight against cancer.

As part of this noble mission, the club now hosts the annual Thunder Angels Tickled Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Poker Run each October. The event has become a great success, raising as much as $20,000 some years.

The ladies at Thunder Angels also partner with other female moto groups. In 2013, the crew put on their leather jackets with heart and angel wings insignia and went on a 120-mile charity motorcycle run to Tallahassee to support the Chrome Divas, another women’s bike club, in raising $9,000 for breast cancer.

In the past, the club has also contributed to fundraisers for Panama City’s Tommy Smith Elementary School and David Wood, a Vietnam War veteran with esophageal cancer, in partnership with American Legion Post 392.

Ride Safe With Law Tigers

Whether you’re a newbie rider or have multiple motorcycle rallies under your belt, like the ladies at the Panama City Thunder Angels MC, accidents can happen. If you’re injured in a road accident, contact the legal team at Law Tigers immediately.

We’ll refer you to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in your area who can explain your legal options and advise you on the next steps. If you are eligible for compensation, we can provide further advice and support you at every turn. Call Law Tigers at 1-888-863-7216 for a free case evaluation.