If you spot a gathering of ladies dressed in the vintage era cycling around the streets of Tauranga tomorrow, no, you haven't travelled back in time.

You have encountered Frocks on Bikes Tauranga - celebrating 125 years since women gained the vote.

The group is hosting a public bicycle ride around Tauranga's historic sites before a shared picnic at The Elms, complete with a vintage tea set.

Leading the procession will be Lillybeth Melmoth, who said Frocks on Bikes was about encouraging women to get comfortable wearing frocks, or anything really, on bikes.


"It's so women feel biking is normal, without the high-vis vest or cycling pants that you sometimes get with people of a hardcore sports mentality. And it's not just women; men can join too."

Frocks on Bikes Tauranga was established about seven years ago and usually has an event each month. This September, Melmoth thought to tie in a ride with the New Zealand women's suffrage movement of 1893, when the petition that gained women the vote was signed.

The ride will meet at The Elms at 1pm before setting out on the ride around and returning to the historic mission house, which was active during the time of the suffrage movement, for the picnic at 2pm.

People taking part are asked to bring something from a recipe their ancestors or grandmothers would have made during that period.

"Or if it's too hard, something from the Edmonds cookbook."

Plates, platters and tea sets will be provided by A Little Fancy to help recreate the vintage theme.

The ride is free but people are asked to pay $7.50 for a tour of The Elms after the ride.

"We don't know if we will recreate it perfectly but we will try," Melmoth said.


What you need to know:


Frocks on Bikes Tauranga: Suffrage 125 Bicycle Ride


The Elms and Te Papa area


From 1pm, Saturday


$7.50 entry to The Elms for Tauranga residents, otherwise $10

What else do you need to bring? Container/plate of your favourite recipe your grandma/ancestors made, to share. Picnic blankets/tea cups/plates will be provided. Thermos of hot tea or pre-prepared drink of your choice.


Vintage-style or in the New Zealand suffrage colours of Gold White and Violet (GWV stands for Give Women the Vote!).