Bicycle Face

I’m in Glasgow. I don’t really want to be in Glasgow. 

It’s not that is not an interesting place, that there’s nothing to do, no-one to see… it’s more the fact that all of the things that I am interested in, that I want to do and that I want to see are down South. 

That’s not to say that Glasgow is an interesting place though; I did a Google search earlier to see whether there were any bike shops near-by and the results were less than pleasing, so it seems that Glasgow might not have all that much going for it after all. Plus, I found this on the headboard of my hotel bed…

Foreign body on headboard

Nasty Foreign body on headboard

Anyway, I travelled up this morning on the train. It took over 7 hours so I had some time to work, sleep, read Twitter etc… and it was while reading Twitter that I came across Bicycle Face. In the late 19th Century, with the invention of and the increasing popularity for the bicycle, an entirely fictional ailment was ‘invented’ and termed Bicycle Face. Primarily aimed at women, in an attempt to dissuade them from cycling, Bicycle Face was alleged to be caused by the excessive stress experienced while attempting to maintain ones balance on a bicycle. 

This led me to think about inventions, developments and the comparison with the modern day. With the invention and further refinement of the bicycle, ladies had a new found freedom – women who previously had very little independence could hop on to their bicycles and the ‘world was their oyster’. However, they were restricted by their attire…long dresses, corsets and the like were not practical for the physical exertion required when riding ones bicycle and so women’s clothing evolved. It also becomes quite obvious why Bicycle Face was invented… women discovered bikes, decided to ‘dress like men’ and headed out into the world, leaving less time for them to do the housework and prepare the dinner. 

Downloaded from Google

What these silly men hadn’t factored in though, was that us women are clever – we weren’t fooled by their imaginary disease… and so it is that I not only do I now ride a bike in the standard cycling kit of a jersey and shorts, or trousers as I wish…but I am now using an even more modern invention to facilitate my meanderings… the Shewee! What would those 19th century chaps have thought?!

Downloaded from Google

I saw something else which amused me, but it is past my bedtime so I may post more on a similar subject tomorrow. 

Good Night from Glasgow! 





One thought on “Bicycle Face

  1. No one to see?!! Who was the first person you messaged when you knew you were coming to Glasgow woman? Who are you sitting across from right now in a nice little Italian place with a big glass of rose in your hand?! Ha ha!


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