Women’s History Month Reading List
March is Women’s History month and there is a stack of books about female adventurers and pioneers on my desk. So far I’ve gotten through Wheels of Change by Sue Macy, Around the World on Two Wheels by Peter Zheutlin, I’ve started Climbing Free by rock climbing legend Lyn Hill and still to read- The Ice Cave: a Woman’s Adventure from the Mojave to the Antarctic by Lucy Jane Beldsoe and One Woman One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement edited by Marjorie Spruill Wheeler.
In a series of articles I’m doing in March for Arkansas Outside called Wednesday’s Woman, I’ll be writing about a female athlete or adventurer. The first was on Annie “Londonderry” Cohen Kopchovsky, based on the book and the 2005 Bicycling magazine article “Chasing Annie” by Peter Zheutlin. This week the plan is a story on the first female participant in the Ironman Hawaii Triathlon. Other worthy contenders for great stories include women like Getrude Ederle the first woman to swim the English Channel, and modern athletes like Rebecca Rusch champion mountain biker, and my personal favorite athlete: Robyn Benincasa, firefighter, motivational speaker, World Champion Adventure Racer and founder of the Project Athena Foundation, an organization using athletic adventures to continue the healing process of women overcoming serious medical setbacks.
Some of the most fascinating insights I’ve gained in the past few weeks have been about how the Golden Age of Cycling, the last years of the 19th century and the start of the 20th, changed women’s fashion and how instrumental the bicycle was to freedom of movement and increased independence for women and the effect that had on the Suffrage Movement. I hope to have time to continue that train of research after my Wednesday’s Woman work.