What better way to learn about how the bicycle became the “vehicle of freedom” for women than to dive into some great books, movies, and documentaries courtesy of our Virtual Bike Education Resource Hub? In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of resources that highlight incredible women cyclists.
Cozy up with a good read this month, centered around female protagonists and bicycles!
Ideal for kids in elementary school:
IDEAL FOR TEENAGERS AND ADULTS:
- Hey Mom: Can I Ride My Bike Across America?
- A non-fiction book about a middle school group (about half of them were females!) from Santa Barbara, CA that embarked on a bike tour across the United States. Fun fact: My daughter read Hey Mom almost 20 times!
For aspiring cyclists with broader horizons:
- Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry’s Extraordinary Ride by Peter Zheutlin (Annie’s great-nephew!)
- Annie Londonderry took on a bet that a woman couldn’t ride a bike around the world. Did she do it? You have to read the book to find out!
- Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy
- Rusch to Glory by Rebecca Rusch
- Wheel Within a Wheel by Frances Willard
- American Suffragettes were enthusiastic about the bicycle as a way to give women mobility away from the home; but one of them, Frances Willard, didn’t even know how to ride a bike (Bike New York’s Learn to Ride classes were more than 120 years away!). Wheel Within a Wheel is her story about how she learned how to ride a bike.
We’ve got movies, too!
Women cyclists have shone in the world of amazing movies and documentaries. Rebecca Rusch (yup, of Rusch to Glory!) has an award-winning documentary, Blood Road, about the search for her father, an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam War.
We take riding a bike for granted, but many women around the world still struggle to enjoy that basic freedom. Learn about the righteous fight in the documentary Afghan Cycles, or the fiction film Wadjda. Last but not least, there’s the amazing film, 2 Seconds, about a woman who loses a downhill mountain bike race.
And who put together much of the list for our Virtual Bike Education Resource Hub? A woman of course—former Youth Programs Manager and cyclist, Nitasha Sharma!
Written by Bike New York’s Director of Education, Rich Conroy.