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You Won’t Believe What Female Cyclists Were Banned from Doing in 1890s... 

Kirsty Ho Fat 17.07.17

The list we have detailed below was originally published by the New York World newspaper in 1895. Admittedly, we’re unsure of the gender of the author, but that doesn’t negate the fact that these cycling rules are simply nuts.

As we lift our jaws from the floor, we recommend you put your hot drink down as this list is in equal parts amusing, as it is appalling.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

1895: Don’ts for women riders

  • Don't be a fright
  • Don't faint on the road
  • Don't wear a man's cap
  • Don't wear tight garters
  • Don't forget your toolbag
  • Don't attempt a "century"
  • Don't coast. It is dangerous
  • Don't boast of your long rides
  • Don't criticize people's "legs"
  • Don't wear loud hued leggings
  • Don't cultivate a "bicycle face"
  • Don't refuse assistance up a hill
  • Don't wear clothes that don't fit
  • Don't neglect a "light's out" cry
  • Don't wear jewelry while on a tour
  • Don't race. Leave that to the scorchers
  • Don't wear laced boots. Theyy are tiresome
  • Don't imagine everybody is looking at you
  • Don't go to church in your bicycle costume
  • Don't wear a garden party hat with bloomers
  • Don't contest the right of way with cable cars
  • Don't chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private
  • Don't wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing
  • Don't ask, "What do you think of my bloomers?"
  • Don't use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys
  • Don't go out after dark without a male escort
  • Don't go without a needle, thread and thimble
  • Don't try to have every article of your attire "match"
  • Don't let your golden hair be hanging down your back
  • Don't allow dear little Fido accompany you
  • Don't scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers
  • Don't discuss bloomers with every man you know
  • Don't appear in public until you have learned to ride well
  • Don't overdo things. Let cycling be a recreation, not a labor
  • Don't ignore the laws of the road because you are a woman
  • Don't try to ride in your brother's clothes "to see how it feels"
  • Don't scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run
  • Don't cultivate everything that is up to date because you ride a wheel
  • Don't emulate your brother's attitude if he rides parallel with the ground
  • Don't undertake a long ride if you are not confident of performing it easily
  • Don't appear to be up on "records" and "record smashing" - that is sporty

Stuff it. Wear loud hued leggings. Wear jewellery. Use bicycle slang. Match your attire.

We're here to support you every step of the way on your cycling journey. Forget what they had to say in the 1890s and wear, ride, say what you like!



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