Monday, August 10, 2015

More Etiquette for Cycling

The instructors in the big academies, where women are taught to ride, their bodies are being educated in the mysteries of the "bike."

Are You Up to Bike Manners?

There Is a Need of a Leader in Wheeling Etiquette
A Fashionable Girl's Lament

Polite Rules of the Road As Laid Down Her Instructor— What She Must and Must Not Do

NEW YORK— Young ladles of the fashionable world, and for that matter the older ones too, who have become late of the wheel, have recently been discussing the urgent need of a recognized formula of bicycle etiquette. 

As far as wheeldom is concerned, the sport is in its infancy; everything is crude and unconventional to the delicately nurtured social eye, and the young buds of the ballroom are all at sea when they find themselves out on the road spinning along on the democratic "bike." 

It may not be long before regular professors of bicycle deportment will be making the rounds of the homes of the rich, instructing the maids and matrons of the etiquette of the wheel, just as the little boys and girls are now being taught the polite arts of the ballroom. 

But at the moment everything is chaotic in this most important field of the fashionable woman. She uses her good common sense, and her innate gentility is sufficient guide to correctly meet the ordinary happenings of life a-wheel, but bicycling is no ordinary sport, and happenings of an extraordinary kind continually occur. 

The laws of conventional life cannot apply to these unforeseen events, and the well-bred woman who insists upon being conventional and at the same time a bicyclist, does not know quite where she is at. The instructors in the big academies, where women are taught to ride, their bodies are being educated in the mysteries of the "bike."

Here are some of the etiquette rules which a fashionable girl said she received from the woman instructor of the academy where she rides. Be acknowledged that she may have forgotten some of them, just as she forgets the vital point in the art of dismounting, and frequently comes a nasty cropper in consequence. 

  • The 
    first one was, never criticise a fellow bicyclist, particularly if she is a woman and inclined to stoutness. The moral of this is that you may be stout yourself in a few years, and a bicycle rider for the sole purpose of reducing weight. 
  • Another is, when you are riding in the park or on the road and a cranky horse comes along which rears and plunges at sight of your bicycle, always dismount without delay and turn your wheel flat on the ground. Serious runaway accidents can sometimes be averted by a little courtesy of this kind. It only takes a minute or two of time, and as all women bicyclists ride for pleasure, that much lost time is of little consequence to them. 
  • Always keep to the right in riding. You may be called names if you forget this rule on a crowded road. 
  • In passing a vehicle or wheel going in the same direction, it is usually safest to go by them on the left. 
  • Try to foster the feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood among all wheelers. Remember that accidents happen to the best bicyclists, just as they do in the best regulated families. 
  • If anything goes wrong with a man or woman wheeler, render any assistance you can. No man will take advantage of such assistance to thrust his acquaintance upon you at a future time, he would run the risk of ostracism by fellow bicyclists who, perhaps, have sisters, wives or sweethearts devoted to the sport. 
  • If you are unfortunate enough to have an accident happen to your wheel, do not hesitate to accent the proffered assistant of the first wheelman who comes along. If he is the right kind, as he probably will be, he will set your wheel right and then pursue his journey. Should he ever pass you again he will give no sign that he had ever met you before. 
  • Don't be afraid to mention the word bloomers in the presence of a man. If he be versed in bike manners, as all true wheelers should be, he will regard the word purely as one for ordinary conversation, as it surely is in bicycle talk. 
  • If one fears the attention of pedestrians wear a veil, but not thick enough to affect the vision. It will protect the face from dust and thoroughly conceal identity. 
  • Don't try to ride rapidly. Fast riders meet with accident sooner or later, and a woman in a smash-up does not appear to advantage. It's bad bike form too. 
  • For the same reason, be careful about coasting and always be certain in advance that the brake is in good working order. 
  • Always respect the feelings of pedestrians, and be careful of their safety. In streets frequently crossed, ride as slowly as possible. Kindly consideration of the pedestrians will beget the same for the wheeler. 

Thus it can be seen that the true woman wheeler has more to learn in bicycling than the mere pushing of pedals. – New York, 1895

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