walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

no one believes me about the bicycling housewives

I want to be clear here: I'm not asserting that women were riding long distances. I think they were doing <1 mile - 2 miles max trips, often with children on their own bicycles. Sometimes they had a kids seat on their bikes.

Women took good care of their bicycles. They tended not to expect to replace them (ever) and since they were low mileage, they survived a long long time. The bike industry thus never expected to sell very many of them at a time, and the used market for women's bicycles kept prices low.

http://www.jims59.com/vintageschwinns/

Because they were invisible on the road (sticking to their own, quiet, local subdivision, riding exclusively during the work day and primarily in the summer), to the bike industry (buying more bikes for their kids than for themselves), and to cycling enthusiasts (they didn't race or tour), there are few records of this activity. But the bikes exist (enough that the prices are depressed as a result). Who was riding them?

http://bicycling.about.com/od/thebikelife/ig/Stars-on-bikes/Audrey-Hepburn-on-a-bike.-06j.htm

Love the tray Audrey. A lot like the Electra front tray.

ETA: Wow. John Forester is _crazy_:

http://books.google.com/books?id=Qz4kAulpimgC&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=suburban+cycling+1960s&source=bl&ots=uzPWqMnkcN&sig=TkiOqfJo69yy5asuOywPaY0xXn8&hl=en&ei=sMBLSoa1GJCy8AS6w-TyBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6

Sorry about that. It's pages 18 and 19 from _Bicycle Transportation_ on google books. Here's the offensive portion:

"Then the economic boom of the 1950s changed society drastically. People strove f
or cars and avoided the bicycle as a "cheap" item. Even expensive bicycles could
be left around college campuses" (well, duh, anyone at college had a ton of mon
ey at that point)...Cycling was sneered at, not for being lower-class (which it
was not, because blue-collar families owned cars)..."

Blue-collar families owned plural cars? In the 1950s? Really, John?

That statistics don't really support that thesis.
~
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