Tag Archives: bicycling history

Bike Bits: Lionel Shriver, women on wheels & more

Happy Monday! Here are a few bike-related links I’ve discovered and enjoyed over the past few days.

HerStoria magazine coverHerStoria magazine has a piece on the early days of women and bikes. Though there’s nothing groundbreaking here, it’s a good overview of the questions that cycling raised around the turn of the century—and a reminder that a backlash for challenging norms is nothing new.

Would these  ‘free’ or ‘new’ bicycling women become sexually outré and masculinised , turning their backs on traditional family values and undermining the natural authority of men? If so, such daring women were nothing short of a threat to the well-being of the race and of the nation as a whole.

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Shriver

The July issue of the Atlantic has a piece on the London cycling scene by one of my favorite authors, Lionel Shriver, who tackles the subject with her typical contrarian charm.

Cycling was once my little secret. While the clueless lavished fortunes on train tickets, car repairs, and taxis, I saved a bundle. I got my exercise, while the proles, after a prolonged, miserable journey home, had to face another trip, to a stuffy, jam-packed gym.

My secret is out.

But she’s not rejoicing about this: for Shriver, cycling hell is other cyclists. More specifically, London cyclists, whom she says are more “cutthroat, vicious, reckless, hostile, and violently competitive” than those in America or Europe. If you’ve ever contemplated the dark side of achieving critical mass, and then felt guilty for it—read this piece.

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Also in the gloom-and-doom department: this piece on the Atlantic Cities blog on the failure of the latest transportation bill.

Lawmakers had the opportunity to achieve transformative change. They didn’t seize it.

(Surprise, surprise?)

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And finally, Lovely Bicycle had a thoughtful post on women and food. Though I’ve never counted calories, this disconnect between hunger and the need for nourishment that begins when you get older—and the anxiety it can cause—struck a chord with me:

At age 12, feeling hungry simply meant I needed to eat something. But by age 22, this connection had become severed. There was nervous hunger, cravings for comfort food during all the endless studying, emotional eating.

What links have you enjoyed this week? Share in the comments.

p.s. Our e-newsletter is delayed this month, but we promise delivery later today!

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