Susan B. Anthony, abolitionist, reformer and leader of the long battle to gain the legal right to vote for women, saw bicycles as a way to give women freedom and self-reliance.
“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling,” Anthony told journalist Nellie Bly. “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel… the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
Freewheels Houston is built on the idea that bikes bring freedom for everyone. That’s why our volunteers are so focused on repairing bikes for refugees and others who have few options to get around the sprawling Houston community.
In February, we gave bikes to Maliha Karimi and her nephew, Sorush, recently arrived in Houston after fleeing Afghanistan. The New York Times described their escape and the family they left behind in a moving story that ran days after their visit to Freewheels.
During her test ride in the Freewheels parking lot, Maliha was not a confident rider but determined to put it to use.
Freewheels gives bikes to many refugees–men, women and children–who want to get to school, work, the grocery store and other destinations. We also help veterans emerging from homelessness, like Tyra, who picked up her bike in February.
Do you embrace freedom? We welcome people who want to help us by cleaning and repairing bikes. You will meet some amazing people.
Read more about women’s (bicycle) history: