During the fight to win the vote the bicycle became not only a tool but also a symbol for the emancipation of women. Even while the police were arresting suffragette women, fully clothed from wrist to ankle and cycling around the cities, the protests continued.
The success of the bicycle, despite all the social and authoritarian misgivings and condemnations, was a potent force for the emancipation of women and had a great influence on the finally successful Women’s Liberation Movement of the time, a salient fact often forgotten in more modern times, as usual, when the feeling of immediacy has gone.
During those pioneering years, the feminist Susan B. Anthony had this to say on the subject of the bicycle: “I think it has done more to emancipate woman than any one thing in the world!”
Extract from the World Naked Bike Ride book.