Biking for Suffrage at the Maine State Museum

In celebration of bicycling and commemoration of the centennial of women's suffrage, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine partnered with the Maine State Museum to present Bike Day at the Maine State Museum on June 22, 2019.  It was a beautiful day for a slow, relaxed ride on the Kennebec River Rail Trail with views of sturgeon jumping! Kids enjoyed testing their skills in the bicycle rodeo safety course.  A special highlight of the event was the bicycling and suffragist fashion contest, which saw a winner in each category, both dressed to the nines!  

Bike Day Costume Contest winners & judge.jpg

This event highlighted the important role bicycling played in empowering the women’s rights movement. The bicycle enabled women to control their own transportation needs, led to less restrictive clothing, and ushered in a new era of women asserting control over their bodies and behavior. 

At first, a woman on a bicycle was considered ridiculous, even scandalous and immoral. But so many brave women rode anyway, in a few years it became commonplace to see "a woman ride by on a wheel." On Saturday, we rode in honor of all the women in Maine and across the country who decided to be a little rebellious, who decided that it was worth risking their reputation to be able to go where they wanted and wear what they wanted.

Ellen Alderman