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"The woman on the wheel is altogether a novelty, and is essentially a product of the last decade of the century," wrote Yes, bicycle-riding required a shift away from the restrictive, modest fashion of the Victorian age, and ushered in a new era of exposed ankles—or at least visible bloomers—that represented such a departure from the laced up, ruffled down fashion that preceded it that bicycling women became a fascination to the (mostly male) newspaper reporters of the time., of early American mansplaining.This particular example features an entire spread—complete with illustrations—of various women's toe-to-knee style in the bicycle age, and writer W. Lampton's thoughts on what regional fashion revealed about the city in which a woman was biking.
The Tour de France's Grand Depart in Yorkshire, its sister race the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain have all played major roles in casting cycling into the UK sporting and social spotlight.
And with that strong journalism and gripping story writing has followed.
Shortly afterwards, in 2007, she moved to the Sky News Centre in London where she stepped into a presenter role which saw her front all programmes on Sky News from Sunrise to News at Ten.
Orla was Northern Ireland’s Olympic Games correspondent for London 2012, and reported from Rio 2016 for Sky Sports News HQ.
Lampton presents his findings lecture-style (and, curiously, refers to the illustrations as if the reader can see them on a screen), suggesting "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glories of the Whirling of the Wheel" as musical accompaniment.
Lampton calls his essay: "As you are all so well aware, Boston is famed for her intellectuals...The bicycle, when it was still new technology, went through a series of rapid iterations in the 19th century before it really went mainstream.Designers toyed with different-sized front and back wheels, the addition of chains and cranks and pedals, and tested a slew of braking mechanisms.Perhaps nowhere in the world shall we find just such a view as this one is."San Francisco: "Need I call your attention, ladies, to the hill effect in this picture? This California product, like the big trees, the big fruit, the big pumpkins, and the big lies of that noble State, is cosmopolitan, and may well be called a composite view."He was a bit nicer to Baltimore."In the words of a well-known poet, ladies, let me say: 'Graceful and airy is the Baltimore fairy,' and Baltimore may well be proud of her beauty record.He covered the Tour de France for the first time in 1999.He covered the 2012 Tour, won by Bradley Wiggins, for The Sunday Times. He established Peloton Publishing in 2010 and, after writing and publishing several football books, co-founded The Cycling Anthology series.Lampton ultimately liked Brooklyn's style: "I have given you here in this modest little picture a refreshing and rural type, which I know will come to you as a breath of fragrance from the apple blossoms and the new-mown hay.How lovely is Brooklyn, and how refining and enobling are all her influences." Old newspaper pages are littered with this kind of thing. Reading Lampton's bad jokes and hyperbole, I couldn't help but imagine what it must have felt like—in an age when American women were still decades from the right to vote and inundated with men's opinions about their ankles—for a woman to to go outside, hop on her bicycle, and ride as fast as she could wherever she wanted, leaving the rest of the world wondering where she might go.Is there a grand rendezvous somewhere toward which they are all headed and where they will some time hold a meet that will cause this wobbly old world to wake up and readjust itself?The bicycle, as a new technology of its time, had become an enormous cultural and political force, and an emblem of women's rights.