Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Bicycling for Ladies" (Book - 1896)

Bicycling for Ladies available online from Another version (with the cover) from Harvard.

Bicycling for ladies : with hints as to the art of wheeling, advice to beginners, dress, care of the bicycle, mechanics, training, exercise, etc., etc. by Maria E. Ward. Published in 1896.

Bicycling For Ladies - Cover

Includes many illustrations showing how to (and how not to) ride and repair a bike. The illustrations were made from photographs from Alice Austen and are quite interesting themselves, aside from the text.

How to make a turn.

Correct Position

And how not to make one.

Incorrect Position

How to coast.


This bike is like a modern "fixie" and the pedals keep spinning as you coast - there is no freewheel feature. Although not clearly visible, the bike she is riding does have a hand brake that will apply pressure to the front tire to slow the bike down, since putting one's feet back on the pedals during this coasting activity could be difficult.

Under "Women and Tools" the author states:
I hold that any woman who is able to use a needle or scissors can use other tools equally well. It is a very important matter for a bicyclist to be acquainted with all parts of the bicycle, their uses and adjustment.
The author then provides a fairly detailed set of basic mechanical advice, although she starts with care of the rider, who is the "engine" after all.

No comments:

Post a Comment