Cyclists’ tribute to a record-setting legend

L-R Michelle Bull, Sarah Smith & Anne Hunt
L-R Michelle Bull, Sarah Smith & Anne Hunt

More women around the country will be cycling this year, thanks to Hemel Hempstead woman Anne Hunt and her work celebrating the life of a legendary woman cyclist.

During 2015, Anne organised a 365-day cycling tribute in memory of Billie Fleming, who in 1938 covered the greatest distance ever ridden by a woman. Hundreds of women across the UK took to their bikes throughout the year in the ‘Tribute To Billie Ride’.

And Anne, a keen member of cycling charity CTC, is confident they will be inspired to continue in 2016 and beyond.

Billie Fleming rode every day in 1938, covering 29,603.7 miles, a record which still stands to this day. She died in May 2014 at the age of 100.

Anne, aged 46, said: “I’m in awe of Billie Fleming’s achievement, getting up every morning and cycling an average of more than 80 miles every day for a year. One of her aims was to get one million more women cycling. She really was a woman ahead of her time.”

More than 400 riders all over the UK and worldwide took part in the Tribute To Billie Ride during 2015, covering more than 107,000 miles.

Anne, whose sons Harry (13) and Josh (11) both cycle, has set herself the target of riding 196 miles from York to London in one day this summer.

She is also celebrating Billie’s birthday with a Ride Like Billie day on April 16 and 17.

See www.tributetobillie.co.uk/index.html