The bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.
This is a nice little video from the documentary, “Victorian Cycles – Wheels of Change,” produced and directed by Jim Kellett that expands on that quote. More clips from the documentary can be seen here.
One must also check out Sue Macy’s book, “Wheels of Change”. She has some wonderful links to other sources for cycling history in the 1890s on her website as well.