When women started riding bicycles, it was considered shocking. A bicycle has to be, you know, straddled.  Plus there was the possibility that a bicyclist might wear a split skirt…or, worse, bloomers.

Plus there was always the chance her ankles might show.

Susan B Anthony is reported to have said that bicycles have “done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world…it gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

And now, more than a century later? I’m not sure that bikes are still a feminist vehicle, but they are certainly an alternative means of transportation.

My column about the pleasure – and serious perils – of bike riding in Abu Dhabi appears today in The National.  Click here to read the article – and then feel free to share the article with all your bike-loving friends.

Look, if the women in this picture can ride bikes in long skirts and truly ridiculous hats, you can ride your bike to the grocery store.






photo image credit here