Story: Cycle racing

Woman racer, around 1900

Woman racer, around 1900

A competitor mounts her bike for a novelty women's race at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, around 1900. Her shoelaces are tied to her skirt to stop her dress from blowing up and exposing her legs. Cycling skirts had a wide inverted pleat at the back so they would fall evenly when the rider was on the saddle. Some women cyclists wore knickerbockers. These were more rational and comfortable, but offended conservative critics.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Malcolm Ross Collection
Reference: 1/4-017551-G
Photograph by Malcolm Ross

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Simon Kennett, 'Cycle racing - Early cycle racing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 July 2022)

Story by Simon Kennett, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Oct 2015