Author Topic: Bike Invention Pedals in New Era of Freedoms  (Read 2603 times)


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Bike Invention Pedals in New Era of Freedoms
« on: March 20, 2011, 08:44:12 AM »
I thought lagatta especially would be interested in this story. It renews my memories of how much I loved to bike and how much I want one again.

"The bicycle," she wrote, "will inspire women with more courage, self-respect and self-reliance and make the next generation more vigorous of mind and of body; for feeble mothers do not produce great statesmen, scientists and scholars."
Along with its practical benefits, the two-wheeler brought about a cosmic shift in women's private and public lives. With the rise of industry and the move from a rural to an urban economy in the 19th century, American women had become increasingly confined to their homes. Young girls could play outside, but when they matured, their freedom of movement was greatly restricted.
"At 16 years of age, I was enwrapped in the long skirts that impeded every footstep," remembered Frances Willard, who in 1895 wrote a best-selling account of how she learned to ride a bicycle at age 53. "I have detested walking and felt with a certain noble disdain that the conventions of life had cut me off from what…had been one of life's sweetest joys."

Read the full story here
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 08:45:31 AM by Debra »
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart


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Re: Bike Invention Pedals in New Era of Freedoms
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2011, 09:49:52 AM »
Yes, Claire Morissette's 1994 book "Deux roues, un avenir" (Two wheels, one future) already evoked "cyclofeminism" and told some of that history. The new book you cite seems only focused on the US, which is legitimate of course but it is a global phenomenon. I liked this story about bikes for girls in India: The new edition of Claire's book. It hasn't been translated into English - perhaps it could be, with the new preface Robert Silverman wrote (after consulting several of us). The core of the book is still valid.
CHAPITRE V - Pédaler au féminin Cyclo-féminisme Cycloféminisme & La pédale douce par Claire Morissette 29

Debra, when you feel up to it, look for a second-hand bike with a small, step-through (women's) frame.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg


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Re: Bike Invention Pedals in New Era of Freedoms
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2011, 12:05:05 PM »
A friend of mine, Evalyn Parry, is doing a celebration of women and cycling at Buddies in Bad Times now.

The story of the first woman to ride a bike around the world, (and make money doing it) is quite an amazing story.

Her brother is a rock star (Arcade Fire) but Evalyn is better.


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