The history of women and cycling is a fascinating subject for all women who love riding their bikes.
But it’s also essential in understanding why there are women in the world today fighting for their right to cycle.
The greatest cycling movement for western women took place in the 1890’s of the Victorian era.
This was a time in history when roles were strictly adhered to depending on social class and gender. Any women challenging social norms were viewed and treated as a direct threat to the morals of society.
Women’s rights crossed over with the cycling movement and the bicycle became a symbol for freedom.
The Penny Farling was launched in 1869. Pedals were attached to the front wheel as the chain was not yet used in main stream bicycle design.
Front wheels could be as large as 1.5 metres in diameter! This allowed bicycles to travel more distance with each pedal stroke.
Such design made cycling a dangerous activity. Even riding over a stone could turn any cyclist into a flying machine with disastrous consequences …