Birds don’t have to worry about the niceties of bike-riding etiquette. The list of Do’s and Don’ts of bike riding below was published in the New York World, a popular newspaper of 1895. With this list as their guide, women could pedal with impunity and not be an embarrassment to their gender.
Here’s the list:
- 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. They 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 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 to 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 (sic).
- 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 yon 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.
My favourites are ‘Don’t cultivate a bicycle face’ and ‘Don’t try to ride in your brother’s clothes “to see how it feels”‘.
I HAD to try to find out what a ‘bicycle face’ was and came across this:… bicycle face, according to the display, was one of the “allegedly possible ailments” of riding a bike. Anti-bicyclists of the time claimed it was “the product of excessive worry over maintaining balance while riding.”
So, I know WHAT it is but cannot imagine the expression.