Queens of Pain tells the remarkable and largely unknown tale of 100 years of womenʼs bike racing from the 1890s to the early 1990s. From the end-of-century velodromes of North America to the glamour and chaos of the first womenʼs Tour de France, Queens of Pain offers a sweeping panorama of female bike racing history.

Told through the lives of the great champions, its heroines include stuntwomen and speed skaters, young mothers and teenage hooligans, shop assistants and coal-delivery girls. When prejudice and cycling’s establishment denied them one stage they found another: from six-day track racing to epic fastest known times, from 12-hour time trials to unofficial road races. The greatly expanded womenʼs racing scene of today is the direct legacy of these pioneering riders whose stories form an unbroken thread since the invention of the bicycle.

The Queens of Pain: Tillie Anderson, Hélène Dutrieux, Alfonsina Strada, Evelyn Hamilton, Marguerite Wilson, Billie Samuel, Joyce Barry, Valda Unthank, Pat Hawkins, Eileen Sheridan, Lyli Herse, Millie Robinson, Elsy Jacobs, Beryl Burton, Yvonne Reynders, Lubow Kotchetova, Audrey McElmury, The Hage Sisters, Connie Carpenter-Phinney, Marianne Martin, Maria Canins, Jeannie Longo and Inga Thompson.

Queens of Pain: Legends and Rebels of Cycling
Isabel Best
Flexi-bound paperback with color illustrations throughout.
7″ x 9″ x 1″, 240 pp., $35.00, 9781912164059

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