29 April 2015

As interest in women’s cycling reaches heights undreamt of only a few years ago and with the much anticipated Women’s Tour just around the corner, Breeze Network Sheffield are inviting women to take to their bikes and join the historical Tales of Suffrage and Votes for Women ride on Monday 4 May.

The free, three-mile, women-only guided ride will go through Broomhill, Crookesmoor and Sheffield City Centre, exploring local links to Women’s Suffrage, trade unions and votes for women.

“Bicycling 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. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self” said Susan B Anthony, US Suffrage 1896.

Dawn Lockley, Head of Place Public Health at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to explore the historic sights and surroundings of Sheffield’s suffragette history.

“As a keen cyclist myself I hope to join the many women who come along on Monday to celebrate the journey we have travelled to experience the freedom women have today.

“This event is a great way to inspire women regardless of their current fitness level to take up cycling. Being physically active is not about how good you are, but about simply moving more and doing something.

“The suffragette movement pushed the boundaries and showed women what they were capable of. Today, ‘This Girl Can’ is inspiring women to challenge themselves, push the boundaries and get active.

“I sincerely hope this ride inspires more women to do this.”

Sheffield is a city is steeped in Suffrage history and this unique ride will act as a reminder of the journey women have travelled to enjoy the freedom we have today. Planned by Breeze Champion Janine Morrall, this commemorative ride will take in key historical areas in and around Sheffield’s city centre.

Starting at Broomhill, the ride will visit the site of the Pankhurst house and the Women’s Social and Political Union Headquarters. Cyclists will then ride to the Ponderosa where a protest rally took place. The route will then continue onto the site of the Jessops Hospital for Women, Town Head Street, Campo Lane, Paradise Square and Fig Tree Lane – all of which have strong links back to Trade Unions, Chartists and women’s health.

After a quick café stop at Eten, where the group will talk about Adela Pankhurst and her Cutlers Hall eviction, cyclists will go to; Snig Hill to note the women’s suffrage march which famously stopped at this site, Fitzalan Square where pillar boxes were firebombed, Norfolk Street to see the locations of maternity and child welfare clinics, the Women’s Social and Political Union shop on Chapel Walk, the Town Hall and the site where the statue of Queen Victoria stood in Fargate.

The ride will then finish in Barkers Pool, a common space that was the location of many a meeting and demonstration for the cause of women’s suffrage.

Registration is now open at breezebikerides.com and women are encouraged to sign up fast as places are limited.

British Cycling’s Breeze is the biggest programme ever to get more women into riding bikes for fun. The Breeze network of women-only rides is all about remembering what fun it is to ride a bike with friends.

Organised by female British Cycling Breeze Champions, the free rides are on local, accessible routes and in small friendly groups. Champions will take the ladies on a fabulous journey where they can enjoy the fun, freedom and the fresh air of a bike ride.

To find out more about the Breeze Network, go to breezebikerides.com

For more information on the Sheffield Girls Can campaign go to http://www.movemoresheffield.com/individuals/thissheffieldgirlcan/