Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom by Sue Macy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Source: Checked out from my public library
Macy explores the history of bicycling and women’s rights, and how each affected the other, in this appealing volume. Vintage photographs, newspaper blurbs, and fun facts pepper the pages in the style of a full-color scrapbook. In the first chapter, Macy covers the invention of the bicycle and its rise in popularity, then turns her focus squarely on women cyclists. From public condemnation of the “spectacle” of a woman on a bike to changes in fashion spurred by the need for more bike-friendly clothing to the achievements of famous female cyclists, there is a lot of information packed in these conversational pages. Between chapters, double-page spreads touch on topics like cycling slang, popular songs about cycling from the late 1800s, and the variety of publications centered on cycling. A final spread offers two complementary timelines of milestones in women’s history and cycling history to put events in perspective at a glance. Recommended for ages 10 and up.