Don’t cultivate a ‘bicycle face’

Now that my everlasting cough has subsided I’ve been enjoying biking around Featherston more on odd jobs and trips to the railway station.

In fact, in anyone has a recommendation for a vintage-style bike light that I can fix onto my front wheel strut that would be great since I dare say it will be dark tonight when I get home.

Flicking through a library copy of Good magazine recently I came across these great dos and don’ts for lady cyclists, originally published by New York World newspaper in 1895. They make for pretty funny reading.

  • Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume.
  • Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first she will run.
  • Don’t cultivate a ‘bicycle face’.
  • Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit.
  • Don’t wear laced boots. They are tiresome.
  • Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you.
  • Don’t ignore the laws of the road because you are a woman.
  • Don’t overdo things.
  • Let cycling be a recreation, not a labour.
  • Don’t contest the right of way with cable cars.
  • Don’t wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing.
  • Don’t try to have every article of your attire match.
  • Don’t allow dear little Fido to accompany you.
  • Don’t appear to be up on ‘records’ and ‘record-smashing’. That is sporty.
  • Don’t refuse assistance up a hill.

Flo and Adele Avery with the first two bicycles in New Plymouth.
From Alexander Turnbull Library circa 1890s


3 Responses to Don’t cultivate a ‘bicycle face’

  1. What you need is a good old fashioned dynamo-powered light. Not too sure if the bike shops even sell them still.

  2. These are fab. I have already taken to heart the one about cycling being a recreation, not a labour.

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