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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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A brief history of Toronto bike lanes

toronto 1970s cyclists

Toronto as a city is hardly overburdened with cycle lanes. There are just over 90 kms of bike tracks – not including off-street trails – winding their way through the region, often disjointed and rarely leading to or from anywhere useful. In comparison, the city ranks roughly on par with Vancouver, a city with a quarter the population.

It was 34 years ago that Toronto installed its first and immediately controversial bike lanes on Poplar Plains Road south of St. Clair. Before that, bike tracks were simple looping asphalt trails confined entirely to public parks, ideal for weekend riding with the kids but not so useful for getting to work.

Convincing motorists pre-occupied with the rapidly choking traffic to accept space for a new mode of transport wasn’t, and still isn’t, easy.

 

Read the full post: “A brief history of Toronto bike lanes” on blogTO .

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Tonight! The Women & Bicycles Picnic!

via Dandyhorse and HerStoriesCafe:

What: The Women and Bicycles Picnic

When: Thursday, August 18, 2011 starting at 6pm.

Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park, beside the Trinity Bellwoods Recreation Center (155 Crawford St. MAP) The event will take place in the grove of trees just behind Fresh, off the Crawford St. entrance. Bring snacks, blankets and your bike if you feel like it. Light refreshments will be provided. Weather permitting.

Speakers and Topics: “Women and Cycling in Toronto: Fighting for Inclusion since 1869”

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On The Blogs: 1897 Electric Bicycle

The History Pics blog by BikingToronto member Lock is extremely interesting.  He posts photos of electric bicycles (and diagrams of them) originating often more than 100 years ago.  Goes to show “E-Bike” technology has been here a long time. :)

See the full diagram on the History Pics blog

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