Bicycles. Good for you? Or a menace to society?

The Wright Brothers - David McCullough

Everybody knows building bicycles was how the Wright Brothers made their living.

 

"Bicycles had become the sensation of the time, a craze everywhere."

 

one side says, the bicycle is "a boon to all mankind, a thing of beauty, good for the spirits, good for health and and vitality, indeed one's whole outlook on life. . . . for physical exercise for both men and women, the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions of the nineteenth century."

 

 

 (Of course there will always be those who have to test the limits.)

 

and the other side (because they always have to be there to spoil the fun) proclaimed the bicycle as "morally hazardous:".  

"Until now children and youth were unable to stray far from home on foot. Now, . . . fifteen minutes could put them miles away.… Young people were not spending the time they should with books, and more seriously suburban and country tours on bicycles were 'not infrequently accompanied by seductions.'"

 

obviously, women's clothing was not conducive to bicycle riding.  It could be that this young woman may have contributed to the outrage.  (I say, Good for You, Unknown Brave Woman, who must surely be documented somewhere.  She had to have made her mark in the world, right?)