The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s

112 A very silly rumour and a sensible cycling journalist

Sometimes, when one is despairing about the survival of sexism and other stupidities in the 21st century, it’s good to be reminded that perhaps we have made some progress in the last hundred years or so.   Both bits from “Cycling Notes “ in Clarion, 28 September 1895.

The Bounder’s references to the French rational costume (see 25 April – episode 108. IB) reminds me of a rumour lately spread about in Paris that the Prefect of Police intended to issue an order prohibiting women from wearing masculine attire. Thereupon the professeurs at the great teaching institutions presented a petition to M Lepine praying him not to make his order operative in the students’ quarter. The reason they assign is that since the ladies of that district took to wearing knickerbockers, whether cycling or not, they had lost all charm for the students, and the latter are now attending to their classes and their duties with an assiduity hitherto unknown.

 A lady writer on one of the American cycling papers uses a new and effective argument in favour of the rational dress for ladies. She says, “I don’t know what a man expects as woman to do with the yards and yards of material in a skirt, when he himself will hardly ride a yard in his ordinary trousers without his trousers clips!”

‘Next time. Two “notes to Clarionettes”

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