walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

You could not possible make this shit up

From _Cycling and Society_, by three men who I will not bother to name here, page 49:

"Its [the safety bicycle] popularity for women peaked around 1896-7 once the drop-frame design was fitted with pneumatic rather than solid rubber tyres; this peak period of popularity is commonly referred to in the cycling literature as 'the bicycle boom'"

Given what a small percentage of women had bikes at that point, and what a large percentage of women had bikes fifty some odd years later, calling this a peak seems a little odd. If you consider racism and classism odd. Maybe they meant "Society", like, only the uppers need be considered.

Footnote 7 is really precious:

"Much elsewhere has been written about the impact of the bicycle on the position of women in society; to recapitulate here would detract from the focus on racing."

Pretty much captures what I'm complaining about, hunh?

ETA: Lest you think the book is about racing in particular, here's the overview:

"How can the social sciences help us to understand the past, present and potential futures of cycling? This timely international and interdisciplinary collection addresses this question, discussing shifts in cycling practices and attitudes, and opening up important critical spaces for thinking about the prospects for cycling. The book brings together, for the first time, analyses of cycling from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds, including history, sociology, geography, planning, engineering and technology. The book redresses the past neglect of cycling as a topic for sustained analysis by treating it as a varied and complex practice which matters greatly to contemporary social, cultural and political theory and action. Cycling and Society demonstrates the incredible diversity of contemporary cycling, both within and across cultures. With cycling increasingly promoted as a solution to numerous social problems across a wide range of policy areas in car-dominated societies, this book helps to open up a new field of cycling studies"

Really makes me want to track down Rosen, Cox and Horton and do Very Bad Things.

To be fair, the stuff about safety bicycle and the bike boom was in a section on cycle racing. But that sort of begs the question. _WHY_ bury it there, given the stated scope of the book? I can't tell from the "limited preview" and I don't like these people enough to buy it (I did just buy a couple other books that looked promising, so it's not like I'm opposed to buying these things).
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