The Origins of the Clarion Cycling Club and cycling in the 1890s
15. More 'Lady cyclists' and report from Liverpool
I've picked out bits from time to time in this series which give unwitting testimony to the attitudes towards women – and women cyclists in particular – back in the 1890s.
Here's another snippet– it's from 'Swiftsure's' 'Cycling Notes' in the Clarion of 8 September 1894.
A Kendal correspondent sends me the following account of a little jaunt he had in the country with a young lady.
'On Thursday, August 23, a certain young lady, 'bikist' … rode in the company of yours truly from Kendal to Furness Abbey and back to Windermere station – distance 54 miles…'
'Swiftsure' seems to have had a bit of a brainstorm – probably all those 120 mile rides – early in October. On 6 October he wrote:-
Now the doings of lady cyclists have to be written about so much I have come to the conclusion that there should be a distinguishing name for a 'male cyclist' and a 'female cyclist'. How would it be if we called the first a 'cycler' and the latter a 'cycless' or better still a 'cycliste' since the plural can be easier to add to it.
I commend the suggestion to the notice of our cycling journals. I have a hankering for adding new words to our English dictionary, so here's my opportunity.
Well, bad luck – or should I say just as well, 'Swiftsure' In the same issue he introduced the following:
The hon. Sec of Liverpool Clarion cycling club reports as follows:
Just concluded two splendid runs – from Knowsley where his lordship the Earl of Derby did not invite us to dinner but his tenants were supplied with Clarions and Clarion leaflets. We also called at the Police Station and left some tracts for the edification of the gentlemen in blue. After assimilating the cow-juice we returned home.
In the afternoon several of us had a spin to Heswell. Here we discovered three Clarionettes and after fraternising with, also enjoying a good tea and distributing some Clarion leaflets, we made tracks for Birkenhead, arriving in Liverpool at eight o'clock.
Next Sunday meet at Newsham Park gates at 10 a m for a run to Cronton.
Next time – TANDEM and CLINCHER report from Liverpool and the Potteries