Memoir Book Review: Wheels of Change by Sue Macy

by Matilda Butler on March 2, 2011

catnav-book-raves-active-3Post #80 – Women’s Memoirs, Book & Video Raves – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Welcome to Day Two of Women’s History Month. To honor women this month, Kendra and I have planned a few different blog posts, ones that step outside our usual content. We will even be announcing a special offer later in the month.

Memoir of the Bicycle

Although the majority of the books we review on Women’s Memoirs are memoirs, we occasionally mention other books that are relevant. As part of our honoring Women’s History Month, I choose to review a new book just released by National Geographic called Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way). Written by Sue Macy, we might think of this as the memoir of the bicycle.

This short but fascinating volume, only 96 pages, provides a history of women who embraced the new bicycle technology as well as those who sought to keep women off of them. Issues of health, independence, and dress all came to the fore.

You’ll enjoy a look at many of the famous feminists as they discuss bicycles and take to the road themselves; a glossary of bicycle terms a timeline of cycling and women’s history, and an introduction by Leah Missbach Day, co-founder of World Bicycle Relief, an organization giving bicycles and that is making a difference in the lives of women in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya today.

Bicycles continue to provide women with independence.

Happy Women’s History Month

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Monica Devine March 5, 2011 at

Interesting subject. When I saw the word feminist in the bicycle book review, what immediately came to mind was the quote, “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle!” From the 60’s generation, of course, alluding to the women’s historic drive for increasing independence. My first adult road bike was an orange Velo Solex that carried me around the circumference of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my musician/poet boyfriend, who penned the song, “Riding the White Line with You.” Bikes never go out of style, and today I ride a good sturdy mountain bike along the trails near my home. Thanks for the review; I’m looking forward to reading this book.

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