Undoubtedly, the heyday of the bicycle was between about 1890 and sometime around the end of the nineteen twenties when cars began to we widely adopted as the preferred mode of personal transport.
This period of time coincides (at least within the anglophone world) with women’s struggle to not only gain the right to vote, but also for women to increasingly have equal societal rights to men.
And part of that emancipation was to allow women to go where they please and the bicycle was an important component, allowing women to travel independently if they wished.
This afternoon I’ve been looking at old bicycle adverts on Pinterest, and it struck me that a lot of them featured women, either riding together or independently.
Eyeballing pinterest is of course not in the least scientific, but could this be evidence of bicycle manufacturers realising that women, including liberated women, formed a large part of their target market, and responding appropriately?