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REVOLUTIONS: How Women Changed The World On Two Wheels by Hannah Ross is an alternative feminist history which celebrates the women who changed the world on their bicycles.
Simone de Beauvoir borrowed her lover’s bike to cycle around Paris in the 1940s, instantly falling in love with the freedom it gave her (even when an accident caused her to lose a tooth). Alice Hawkins, a factory worker from Leicester, pedal-powered her fight for universal suffrage as the bicycle became a cornerstone of her work to recruit women to the cause. Annie ‘Londonderry’ Kopchovsky, was a 24-year-old Latvian immigrant living in Boston, who in 1894 became the first woman to cycle around the world. She took up the challenge, despite never having ridden a bike before, after two men bet a woman couldn’t do it. In fact, she actually arrived back home ahead of schedule.
Today, Hannah Ross meets professional female cyclists at the top of their game such as Lizzie Deignan and Helen Wyman, and delves into progress and problems the professional sport faces today in representation and pay. She meets 25-year old amateur black British track cyclist Yewande Adesida on turning up to races and being the only black woman there, and what can be done to improve diversity in the sport. She explores the barriers women face cycling across the world; sharing the experiences of women including Anissa Lamare, India’s only female competitive downhill mountain biker and Nadima Abu El-Einein, an activist for women’s cycling in Saudi Arabia. She also discusses her work with The Bike Project, and the importance of bikes for women’s agency – something not just important in the Suffrage movement, but in London, today.
Join us as we feel the breeze in our hair as she talks with James Spackman.