Social Impact of The Bicycle
Women – Bicycling to Freedom
The bicycle craze, which dominated sporting activities of America and Europe in the 1890s, started a revolution of independence and emancipation for women.
For one thing, it changed the feminine wardrobe. Women no longer had to be hampered by tight corsets and long skirts, but could enjoy the freedom of comfortable and practical bloomers and divided skirts. The short lived bloomer fashion was a good solution for women riding bicycles, but many women rode bicycles in long skirts. Much later shorts and pedal pushers pants made bicycling easy. Now women and men alike often choose tight spandex clothing for biking comfort.
Moreover, the beginning of bicycling was the end of the chaperone. Ladies, and even young girls, began riding alone or accompanied only by friends.
Bicycling became important for women in all walks of life. Office workers and shop assistants rode bicycles to work. Women from the upper social classes used bicycles for leisurely rides or to call on friends.
In 1896 Susan B. Anthony said, “the bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world.”
Oh Yea ..Like A Fish Needs a Bicycle!