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HISTORY: The 19th-century health scare “bicycle face”

Lady Cyclist

Bicycle Face is real.  It’s called smiling.  Only bike commuters do it.

Once upon a time, the main danger associated with bicycling had nothing to do with being hit by a car.

Instead, some late 19th century doctors warned that — especially for women — using the newfangled contraption could lead to a threatening medical condition: bicycle face.

“Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one’s balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted ‘bicycle face,’” noted the Literary Digest in 1895.

Read More: The 19th-century health scare that told women to worry about “bicycle face” – Vox.


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