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by Anne-Marije Rook
March 2, 2016
Every week we scan the internet for the interesting stories of women’s cycling that deliver unique insight, inspire or simply make us laugh and round them all up in a weekly news digest.
The New York Times featured this wonderful article about a small group of women who are pedalling toward acceptance. The women, who began riding together in December, are the first in years to pedal publicly in Gaza, where the nearly decade-long rule of the Islamist Hamas movement has been accompanied by various initiatives to restrict the modest efforts of women hoping to practice sports.
“The four women pedaling bicycles with jammed gears and wobbly chains up Salahuddin Road, Gaza’s bumpy main highway, on a recent morning caused quite a stir.
The driver of a three-wheeled tuk-tuk slowed down and a teenager on a horse-drawn cart sped up to match the women’s pace. A jeep filled with Hamas gunmen beeped and cheered as it passed, and a pack of men on motorbikes left a wake of catcalls. The sight of women on two wheels was so unusual that Alaa, 11, who was grazing sheep on the grassy median, assumed they were foreigners and shouted out his limited English vocabulary: “Hello! One, two, three!””