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PL Henderson explores how cycling has helped women’s emancipation. “Cycling is booming, in a revolution activated as a social side effect of the global pandemic. A pedal-powered response to the events of 2020 saw sales of bikes in the UK rise by 60% at the beginning of the first lockdown. Meanwhile, in Europe, in order to cater for the increased bicycle use, millions of euros are being devoted to improving infrastructure related to cycling. Yet it is a movement motivated for many by more than precautions regarding health matters or maintaining fitness. Rather than simply utilising this mode of transport to move from home to work and back, as suggested by the authorities, getting on our bikes may be viewed as having more convoluted meaning. The limitations brought about by lockdowns and the curtailing of individual liberty, as a critical social obligation, have been essential in saving lives, yet such unprecedented restrictions have also caused many to truly appreciate the brief sense of freedom the outdoors has offered as vital for mental wellbeing. One of the most popular ways to escape into localised worlds has, in turn, been on two wheels…”

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