A gloriously celebratory and inspirational book about women through history who broke from convention and cycled their way to freedom
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. Zahra Naarin Hussano challenged religious and cultural taboos in Afghanistan to ride a bike and teach others to do the same. As a twenty-four-year-old Latvian immigrant living in Boston, in 1894 Annie 'Londonderry' Kopchovsky 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.
Many of these women were told they couldn't or shouldn't cycle, but they did so anyway. Whether winning medals or spreading the word about votes for women, their stories are an inspiration. In this gloriously celebratory book, Hannah Ross introduces us to the women who are part of the rich and varied history of cycling, many of whom have been pushed to the margins or forgotten.
Eye-opening and inspirational, REVOLUTIONS made me want to jump straight on my very own 'freedom machine' and go out for a ride. An utterly fascinating, and gloriously fiery read
Hannah Ross works for an independent publisher in London. When she isn't working on other people's books or writing her own, she is usually on a bike. She belongs to a local cycling club and also volunteers for a charity helping refugee women learn to ride bikes. Whenever she can, she packs up her saddlebag and heads for the open road, and now she doesn't feel she's really travelled anywhere unless it's on two wheels. Given the choice, Hannah would always rather be (slowly) pedalling up mountains than almost anywhere else. She also spends too long thinking about the next bicycle she really 'needs'.