Friday, 17 December 2010

How Ladies Learn to Cycle - 1894

I went to visit my mum this week and came home with a "box of bits" which she didn't have the energy to sort through. They're mostly old photos and family things, and in amongst them were a couple of old notebooks that my Great Grandmother started to write.

There are many amusing snippets including this one dated 1894.

How Ladies Learn To Cycle.

Teaching a lady to cycle is about the nicest thing I know, says one who has tried it. He recommends everyone who numbers nice girls in his circle of acquaintances to try it. About every five yards she will think she is going to fall over and throw her arms round your neck, your arms naturally closing round her waist. Sometimes, the machine will stop up; sometimes it won't; when it doesn't you lose bits of your shins, but what does that matter?

One time, as he stood with arms round her, holding up girl and machine, and her arms round him, he said, apologetically "I'm afraid you'll get tired of these lessons if you don't progress much quicker" "Oh, no," she murmured, "I love learning. Oh, hold me tighter; I'm falling!"

Of course he held her tighter. Who wouldn't? But it's all over now. When he got home he found the lady in the spectacles next door had seen the lesson progressing, and had at once called in to casually mention the matter. It is better, if possible, therefore, to avoid the vicinity of ladies in spectacles when the lessons are in progress.

1 comment:

  1. This is just lovely- it sounds like something from 'Three Men in a Boat'!
    My Mum learnt to ride a bike (but not very well) at Pembrey Sands during the war where it took 4 men to hold her on! Many years later my Dad apparently went white the first time her saw her dismount -it involved applying brakes hard then leaning gently to one side and falling off. He bought her a tricycle which with its 'wide load'sign on the back was a well-known sight round the village.