4 November 2011
Did your mum, grandmother or great aunt ride a bike? Did she hoist up her skirts and pedal on while others stood and stared? Could you have a female cycling pioneer in the family?
This November the Breeze network is celebrating ‘Radical Women’ and how the humble bicycle has changed women’s lives. The links between cycling and radical movements like the Suffragettes who campaigned for votes for women are fascinating, but we're also looking for stories and pictures of ordinary women who discovered the fun and freedom of riding a bike.
Natalie Justice, Breeze Manager, British Cycling says: "From the Suffragettes to changes in female fashion, the bicycle has helped shape history. It’s an exciting time to be involved in cycling, especially in helping more women to take part. We owe the pioneers of women’s cycling a great debt. These women campaigned for the right to ride bikes, to wear trousers, to go on cycling holidays and to compete in road and track races."
As part of the month of ‘radical women’ we'll be supporting the Cycles and Suffragettes event in Leicester on 5th November. This special cycling event is a celebration of the legacy of prominent suffragette Alice Hawkins, who took to her bike to campaign for women’s rights and rode for miles around Leicestershire to spread the word.
Natalie Justice adds: "Many families can tell their story of a pioneer for women’s cycling – a free-spirited aunt or grandmother who broke convention and rode to work or even competed. We'd love to hear your stories. Bicycles helped change women’s lives, and for years women have also been changing cycling in their own way. And there are still cycling pioneers like the hundreds of amazing Breeze champions who are volunteering to help other women get into riding bikes."