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Her and his bike

May 18, 2015


Some believe it is a single most important item that contributed to female emancipation. When women started to use bicycles, it was the first time we got a taste of freedom and that was scandalous. Just imagine a sinful sight whilst trying to get on a bike. A woman needed to lift her leg over a bar, exposing quite a bit of a leg and maybe even some underwear. Yet for the first time females could head alone further than the nearest park. As women had no intention to go back to walking, the frames of the bikes needed to change.

Females long ago abandoned dresses and skirts on bikes, but most manufacturers still stick to the old tradition. Her-bike models still have slanted crossbars, even when this modification compromises the strength of a frame. The women have changed, but the bikes have stayed the same, up until recently. With the number of female cyclists rising, some manufacturers of higher end bikes are abandoning the modified crossbar altogether. Instead, they are focusing more on components like seat shape or handlebars, rather than on the importance of getting on and off a bike in a ladylike manner. The latest modifications are influenced by physical specifics, such as shorter torsos, arms and different hip placement of women.

It is exactly 120 years since the newspaper New York World published 41 rules a lady should observe while cycling. Some, such as Don’t faint on the road or Don’t refuse assistance up a hill sound silly, but some like Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you or Don’t criticize people’s “legs” are still valid today.


From → Hic Salta

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