Today is International Women’s Day. While once upon a time the bicycle trade in its wisdom decided that largely ignoring over half the UK’s population was a good business plan, things are changing and there are now more bicycles and accessories designed by, made, fixed and sold by women.
There’s a long way to go here in Blighty. While over half of all bicycle trips are made by women in the Netherlands, women make up just 27 per cent of cycle commuting trips in the UK. It’s those kind of statistics that Saturday’s Suffragette Ride and Tea Party hoped to highlight in Manchester.
The historic-themed bike tour was organised by Sustrans and Manchester Bike Tours and was part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s Women on Wheels activities this month.
The ride visited the Pankhurst Centre, former home of Emmeline Pankhurst, and Alexandra Park, where suffragettes held rallies.
The Suffragettes often attended demonstrations on bikes.
Sarah Roe of Sustrans North West told BikeBiz: "The suffragette ride was a lovely social excursion and great way to have lots of women out and visible on the road. We got lots of shouts of support, particularly from women and girls along the route.
"We hope the cycling suffragettes might make other appearances at events in Manchester to campaign for safer cycling, so if you’re interested please get in touch."