Holiday Challenge: International Women’s Day

There are many women I admire, in particular for their courage, creativity, strength, audacity, determination, tenacity. March 8 is International Women’s Day. To celebrate this day on Bicycle365, I have singled out just a few outstanding women whose achievements are in the field of sports.

I loved Cycling to the South Pole: A World First by Maria Leijerstam. A must read for all cyclists. Her picture is in the header.

Here is the blurb from Amazon:

“It had been proved impossible, but on December 27, 2013, Maria Leijerstam from Great Britain became the first person in the world to cycle to the South Pole. For four years, Maria fought against every obstacle. How was she going to fund this mission? What was the best cycle for the job? Would this ordinary woman be fit and strong enough to fulfil her dream, especially with strong male competition from around the world? Maria writes from her heart and reveals a world of adventure that is accessible to everyone who has a dream. “

Here are some more women authors and athletes who come to mind:

  • Miles from Nowhere by Barbara Savage. Written in the days before long-distance cycling in Asia was considered possible. I imagine most of you have read this classic.
  • Wheels within Wheels by Dervla Murphy. I think her book Full Tilt is better known, but this book, an autobiography, is my favorite. I have read almost everything she has ever written.
  • Find a Way by long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad. Utterly amazing and riveting!
  • Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer
  • Jessie’s Journey: Autobiography of a Traveller Girl by Jess Smith. This is the story of some of the last traditional travelling folk in Scotland. Life on the road has a special appeal to many of us cyclists so I have included it. I loved the books by Jess Smith (she wrote a trilogy) and wanted to share this title, too, although it’s not strictly about athletic achievements or cycling.

I’m glad I finallly found an occasion to share some of my favorite reading about cycling and beyond. I have been wanting to do this for a while – also in the hope that some of you have some favorite titles and authors you would like to share!

I'm a US born ex-pat, having lived most of my adult life in Munich, Germany. Cycling and photography are my favorite things.

11 response to "Holiday Challenge: International Women’s Day"

  1. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: March 8, 2020

    Interesting bike. I admire people who just go for it and reach there goals, far more than politicians and actors.

  2. By: gregblood Posted: March 8, 2020

    Firstly, let me say “thank you” for that list of books that have inspired your adventurous spirit. I’m glad International Women’s Day gave you an opportunity to do that. I’ll have to add those books to my future reading list. Also, thanks for giving us the opportunity to share some books that inspired us. I’ll take advantage of that opportunity in my next post, which will be today, thanks to you informing me about this holiday celebrating women’s achievements.

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: March 8, 2020

    Thanks, Suzanne.

    From a male perspective, I would like to offer this video for International Women’s Day. Not a book, but it’s about women bicycling and I find it absolutely overflowing with adventure, tenacity, inspiration, and humor. The women are German. English captions available for the rest of us by clicking the “cc” button.

    Girls Trip: Bikepacking in Kyrgyzstan: https://youtu.be/gjYTg7OQADg

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: March 9, 2020

      Very impressive video! Thanks!

      • By: Bill Stone Posted: March 9, 2020

        Katrin Hollendung has several more impressive videos of the same ilk. She says most of her trips end up being “hiking holidays accompanied by mountain bikes.” I think she has a great sense of humor, especially considering some of the situations she gets into,

        • By: Suzanne Posted: March 11, 2020

          I just watched the Macedonia video – great stuff! Those girls are absolutely nuts!

  4. By: The Navigator Posted: March 9, 2020

    I’ve read Murphy and Savage but will have to check out the others. Thanks for the list!
    I’ve read most of Josie Dew’s books, too, and though I don’t know if I call her inspirational, I really do enjoy her perspective as it is more similar to mine than many of the books by males.

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