Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy

“Let me tell you what I think about bicycling.  I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.  I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.”  -Susan B. Anthony (1896)

Wheels of Change:  How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) documents the rise of the bicycle in American culture and the social impact it had on women.  Cycling was fun, good for your health (once they fixed the design so you wouldn’t take a header!), and provided a newfound sense of freedom for women around the country.  Not everyone was a proponent of women and cycling, though; opposers  like Charlotte Smith believed the bicycle was the “devil’s advange agent” and would cause young ladies to plummet into a moral downward spiral.  Thankfully, those ideas petered out rather quickly.  I found it fascinating how much influence the bicycle had on everything from fashion to sports to health and how far women were travelling (hundreds of miles at a time!).  This was definitely a great read whether you’re a sports fan, cycling enthusiast, or woman’s history buff.

Wheels of Change:  How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy
Young Adult Nonfiction | 96 pages | January 2011 | National Geographic Children’s Books | 1426307616 | Library copy
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1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Young Adult Literature

One response to “Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy

  1. Hi, Danielle–
    Thanks for spreading the word about Wheels of Change. It’s a book that owes a lot to New Jersey. I’ve lived here all my life and many of the artifacts in the book come from a collector who lives outside Princeton. Plus northern NJ played an important part in the early popularity of the bicycle. There were many early rides through NJ towns.

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