“To men, the bicycle in the beginning was merely a new toy, another machine added to the long list of devices they knew in their work and play. To women, it was a steed upon which they rode into a new world.” Munsey’s Magazine, 1896
Not only did the bicycle do away with the need for a chaperone, but it also liberated women from the constraints of corsets and giant skirts. The bike-riding women pioneered a more radical dress, including a dual garment which consisted of a divided skirt worn under a long coat, breeches beneath skirts, and bloomers and jackets. The idea appealed to many as sensible and practical. A more public airing to the idea of women wearing appropriate clothes for safe movement in activities begun, and more liberal, free fashions started emerging. The new fashions also cut the weight of the women’s undergarments to around 3.5 kilograms!
Me too. Only now I know why!