Time for another historic article - enjoy!
Cycling for Women
Excerpted from Good Housekeeping
July 7, 1888
English women are as famous for propelling these three-wheeled vehicles as they are famous as pedestrians. One lady writes that she never enjoyed such good health as during “this, my first cycling year.” She rode 100 miles the first month; 210 the next; then 300 miles a until in the last two months of the season she rode 500 miles each, making 2,166 miles in eight months, a part of the time being lost by foreign travel. A 16-year-old girl writes that she has ridden four miles to school on her tricycle; and a 10-year-old girl rode 150 miles in a little over four months. Ladies make tours on their wheels, and, if they have some talent at making sketches, they derive additional pleasure. The tandem rides that Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell have made with their sketch books are famous.
New England ladies seem to be foremost in this kind of exercise. The ladies of Boston, says a newspaper of that city, are realizing that a tricycle ride is a most delightful and exhilarating pastime, and that it also combines pleasure with the best of practical, common-sense exercise, insuring health and spirits, while it is also an economical means of rapid transit. Within the past season, says another newspaper of that city, the number of women who ride the tricycle has increased materially and a tour for several days is occasionally the result.
A certain woman known to a correspondent of Bicycling News, who was of very delicate health and confirmed invalid habits, and who for years had never been able to walk beyond her own gate or to take any prolonged drive in her carriage, so improved herself by gradual attempts to propel a tricycle that she was able to achieve her six or eight miles in a morning without the least fatigue.
A Washington tricycler writes that the exercise “thoroughly distributes the blood to every portion of the system, promotes digestion, strengthens the muscles of the limbs, keeps the feet and clothing from the dampness and slop of the streets, while it protects and supports the spinal column in such a manner that the brain is not exhausted by invigorated by an exercise that may be continued for hours. Let every feeble, nervous woman try it, and she will soon find her limbs rotund, cheeks ruddy, and step elastic.”
In Chicago, as well as in Boston and Washington, the tricycle is finding more and more favor with women, and everywhere and in every instance where nothing unreasonable is attempted to be done, the testimony is a most positive commendation of the exercise as a means, not only of building up the health of women, but of contributing to their enjoyment and happiness of mind and body.