Category Archives: Research

Cycling to Suffrage on BBC Two “Inside The Factory: Bicycles”

You may have seen me pedaling across your television screen this summer!  As part of BBC Two’s “Inside the Factory: Bicycles,” Ruth Goodman and I explore the significance of cycling to women’s emancipation. Using archival materials from The Woman’s Library, … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Leave a comment

Bicycle Fashion Files Part Two: Tricycles and Highwheelers, 1870-1880s

The second instalment of the Bicycle Fashion Files examines cycling dress in the age of the tricycle and highwheeler, 1870s-80s. Part two continues on from part one, which covered the cycling fashion of the early 1800s. Dress Constraints and Conventions in the … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bicycle Fashion Files Part One: The Early Inventions 1790-1860s

Fashion is one of the most popular topics in women’s cycling history, especially the bloomers and rationals of the 1890s and the idea of emancipation associated with them. But, women’s cycling fashion has a much longer and more diverse history than this implies. The Bicycle … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bicycle Face: A guide to Victorian cycling diseases

  “Don’t cultivate a bicycle face.” — Don’ts for women on bicycles, New York World, 1895 Medical professionals kept a watchful eye on cycling when it rose in prominence as a fashionable form of leisure for men and women in … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bicycle: Freedom Machine on The Forum, BBC World Service

From Monday 12 October, you’ll be able to hear me and three other cycling experts discuss the importance of the bicycle in an episode of The Forum on BBC World Service. Bridget Kendall leads the discussion with social enterprise entrepreneur … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ladies Cycling Clubs: The Origins and Politics of Victorian Women’s Bicycling Associations

The wheelmen’s club, outfitted in dapper uniforms and racing en masse down a country road, is one of the enduring images of late Victorian masculine associational culture. Cycling clubs may have started out as male reserves, especially during the highwheeler … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lady Ariel Side-Saddle Ordinary, 1874

  The Lady Ariel Side-Saddle Ordinary of 1874, shown above, is one of the most eccentric and innovative designs in the history of the bicycle as a gendered object. The Ordinary, commonly known as the highwheeler or penny farthing, was … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tessie Reynolds: The Stormy Petrel in the Struggle for Women’s Equality in Cycle Racing and Dress

In 1893, a remarkable sixteen year old girl rode from Brighton to London and back in record time, covering the full distance in just over 8.5 hours. Her name was Tessie Reynolds, and though the news of the day had … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cycling to Suffrage, Manchester

  Cycling to Suffrage Manchester Cycling to Suffrage has gone on the road to Manchester. Working in association with Team Glow, the Cycling to Suffrage: The Bicycle and Women’s Rights, 1890-1914 exhibit opens at the People’s History Museum, Manchester March … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hack Attack

I’ve been hit. As you may note from my header, my site has been fallen prey to a rather unwelcome visitor. Repair work is underway, and I hope to be rid of that stowaway soon. Until then, please continue to … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Leave a comment