The Picture of Free, Untrammeled Womanhood
Women and bikes go way back. When the bicycle assumed its modern-day form in the late nineteenth century, women of the era saw in the new mode of transportation an opportunity. No longer reliant on horses or carriages (or male chaperones) to get around, women who took to the wheel—as the bicycle was then called—could pedal their way wherever they pleased. And with this freedom of movement came, increasingly, freedom from restrictive garments. Skirts shortened, corsets relaxed, bloomers broached the idea that women could indeed wear pants...
The words of women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony attest to the bicycle’s role in liberating and empowering women: “Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel—the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”
So what better way to celebrate of National Women’s Day than by exercising your freedom to get where you’re going in your own time under your own power (while sporting the activewear of your choice)? Happy biking!
Photo Credit: Coen van den Broek