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Lady cyclists

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Lady cyclists

Old 03-08-18, 12:34 PM
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Lady cyclists

belated NYT obit:


Davidson started riding in the early 1880s, when she was in her late 20s, and quickly styled herself as an advocate and expert. Women cyclists were viewed as so improper in her neighborhood in the south of England that she rode in the early morning, when the streets were empty; she once turned down a side street to avoid being spied riding by the town vicar. Soon, Davidson was publicly advocating for women to join her, in ladies’ columns for the Scottish Cyclist and the Cyclists’ Touring Club Gazette. In 1892, she founded the Lady Cyclists’ Association, the first cycling organization for women, and served as its president for the next five years. In 1896, she published her collected wisdom in the “Handbook for Lady Cyclists.”

this part reminds me of the idea that any commuter represents all cyclists (but not any driver...)

She wrote as a woman afraid that her newfound freedom would be seized from her if women failed to bike and travel in a way that ultimately reified traditional gender roles and class structures.

“Every woman should look upon herself as, in certain measure, an advocate, so to speak, of the pastime among the members of her own sex,” she wrote of cycling. “If she rides in a slovenly, awkward style, and sits her saddle ungracefully — if she dashes frantically along, hot, dusty, and purple of visage, she will surely not win many recruits to the paths of cycling, but frighten them instead, from doing as she has done.”
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