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Freedom on two wheels: The New Woman and the bicycle

Header for the Victorian magazine The Wheelwoman

To celebrate the visit of the Women's Tour to the University of Warwick campus, we've digitised a selection of sources from our extensive cycling archives on pioneering women cyclists and the surprisingly prominent role of the bicycle in the fight for women's rights.

Rational dress and the New Woman

Rational dress (trousers) and the bicycle as a controversial symbol of the 'New Woman' and fight for equal rights in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Pioneer racers

The pioneering women of the 1890s and debates over effects of racing on women's health.

Romantic freedom and the bicycle

The bicycle as vehicle for romantic encounters.

Women's cycling magazines

Explore the fashionable world of women's cycling in 1896-7: 38 magazines digitised in full and available to read through our online catalogue.