Home » Bicycle Face: The Biggest Health Hazard For 19th Century Women Cyclists
Lady Cyclist

Bicycle Face: The Biggest Health Hazard For 19th Century Women Cyclists

Lady Cyclist

The difficulties women face while cycling have always been a topic of debate. But the problems a 21st century woman cyclist faces—no matter how sinister or bizarre those may be—are not even remotely weird compared to what the ladies of the 19th century faced.

While errant and rude motorists are the biggest enemies these days, the foe for the Victorian ladies was the friendly doctor. Yes, the ladies were warned not to get engaged in cycling by the medical practitioners of the time as they might develop “Bicycle Face”, a condition which occurs due to the specific physical exertion involved in cycling.

“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’,” the Literary Digest wrote in 1895, before describing the unique condition and its symptoms. “Usually flushed, but sometimes pale, often with lips more or less drawn, and the beginning of dark shadows under the eyes, and always with an expression of weariness.”

The ‘time trial face’, or rather the grin we associate with pro cyclists in the Tour de France while they push themselves against the clock in time trial stages, was also a symptom of Bicycle Face, “characterized by a hard, clenched jaw and bulging eyes.”

It is clear what prompted the largely male dominated society to use the medical profession to try to discourage women from cycling, which was considered a symbol of a growing feminism moment at the time. Cycling was allowing women more freedom of movement that was making the dudes of the time insecure.

Read more on the Bicycle Face at Vox.

About Leslie Pulipa

Check Also

iphone-6-plus-camera-issue

Apple iPhone 6 Plus Camera Issue (Video)

iPhone 6 Plus' camera has an issue

blu-studio-5.0-c-hd-amazon

BLU Studio 5.0 C HD Costs Just $109.99 At Amazon (Offer Available Today Only)

BLU Studio 5.0 C HD available at a discount on Amazon.com

gopro-phil-kmetz-downhill-mountain-biking-beech-mountain-resort

This GoPro Video Will Show You How Hard Downhill Mountain Biking Is

Downhill mountain biking from the perspective of the rider

galaxy-s6-galaxy-s6-edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 And Galaxy S6 Edge Concepts (Video)

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge concepts

gold-fish-tea-bag-charm-villa

Goldfish Tea Bags

Take a look at the new goldfish tea bag

htc_google_nexus_9

Google Nexus 9 Might Launch In India Soon

Nexus 9 units have been shipped to India