Skirts vs Knickbockers

A surprise for one of our new volunteers when she discovered her grandmother’s role in the cycling rational dress movement.

“I have no sympathy, whatever with the skirt, in any shape or form, and if a woman is not prepared to ride in knickers(knickerbockers), I think she should not ride until she is.”

Home Chat magazine, June 27, 1896.

This fantastic quote is from London based 1890s cycling champion Monica Harwood. It was found by her Worthing based, grand-daughter also named Monica, who has become one of our first volunteers, and who has been digging into her family history. It appears before Monica Harwood married, she became a cycling champion, then joined Bert Howard’s troupe of lady cyclists and was Captain of the Chelsea Rational Cycling Club. She never mentioned her cycling career to her family.

Photo: Monica’s grandmother