Monday, September 21, 2009

Belva Lockwood's tricycle

From Jeff Mapes's Pedaling Revolution, on the bicycle's role in women's liberation in the late 1800s.
Belva Ann Lockwood, the presidential candidate of the Equal Rights Party in 1884 and 1888, used an adult-sized tricycle to travel about the nation's capital and proclaimed after she was photographed riding: "There is a principle behind that picture. A tricycle means independence for women, and it also means health."

I'd have voted for her.

I've mentioned this before, but one half of our fleet here at the homestead is a 1950s adult-sized tricycle that we use to transport people, groceries, dogs, firewood, and anything else that needs moving.

A tricycle does mean independence. For women and for men.

I was initially reluctant to abandon my car because I didn't know how to carry stuff on a bike. I could only stuff a backpack with so much.

Once I procured a rear rack and some panniers, this problem vanished. There's now nothing I need to have with my during my commute—or on longer pleasure cruises—that I can't carry on my bike.

For bigger trips, I have an old Cannondale trailer to hitch to my bike.

And I have a trike with an extra large basket in the back.

I don't need a car to carry large loads around. I have two high capacity human-powered vehicles that suit my needs perfectly well.

And that means liberation.

And it also means health.

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