Open to all (Women and Men)
On Sunday 11th November 2012, Breeze is once again supporting Cycling Suffragettes, an event celebrating the Suffragette movement and inspirational women of Leicester. The ride will include key landmarks in these women's lives, across the city, ending at the Phoenix Digital Arts Centre for more events to celebrate their achievements.
Alice Hawkins was a suffragette and cyclist when it was highly risky to be a campaigner, and quite unusual to be a female bike rider. But Alice was a far from conventional woman.
Born in 1863 in Stafford, she left school at thirteen to spend her working life in a shoe factory. Alice knew that the working conditions and pay of women in industry were inferior to that of their male colleagues and became involved in the trade union.
In 1907 she attended a meeting of the Women’s Social and Political Union in Hyde Park and joined a march to the House of Commons to demand the vote for women. It was the first time she was arrested. Over the next seven years she was jailed five times.
It was Alice who invited the hugely influential Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst to speak in Leicester.
Alice and her fellow campaigners spoke at factories and in villages around Leicestershire. Every Sunday she would get on her bicycle and ride for miles to take the message as far as she could amongst the working people of Leicestershire.
In June 1908 Alice was one of the speakers at a rally in London’s Hyde Park, attended by over 250,000 supporters. Over the years she was often shouted at and even assaulted but never gave up campaigning – or cycling.
She remained an active supporter of the union movement and workers until her death in 1946 at the age of 83.
It's a good idea to bring some water and you may also want to bring a snack however there will be places to buy refreshments after the ride. Wearing a helmet is advisable; if you don’t have one please do not to worry you can still take part. If you enjoy the bike ride and would like to come again perhaps you could look to buy one then. If you’d like to dress up for the event you can – this is optional.
We really welcome newcomers to our rides; we will always ride at the pace of the slowest rider so no one is left behind.
Look forward to seeing you there.