“I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel!”

Hmmmm, I wonder how much I love this angle: bikes free chicks! My favourite (dead-set) tweeter Maria Popova alerted me to National Geographic‘s new book Wheels of Change: How The Bicycle Empowered Women.


The advent of the bike “radically redefined the normative conventions of femininity”. For a start it got women straddling something, and not side-saddle. Then it got them moving. And active.

“From allowing young people to socialize without the chaperoning of clergymen and other merchants of morality to finally liberating women from the constraints of corsets and giant skirts (the “rational dress” pioneered by bike-riding women cut the weight of their undergarments to a “mere” 7 pounds), the velocipede made possible previously unthinkable actions and interactions that we now for granted to the point of forgetting the turbulence they once incited.”

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