When the bicycle debuted in the 1800s, it was blamed for all sorts of problems—from turning people insane to devastating local economies to destroying women’s morals. We explore why the bicycle scared so many people, and what happens if the opposite of our fears turn out to be true.


EPISODE NOTES

• Our readers: The Slow Ride PodcastPro Women’s Cycling, and Danielle Kosecki’s Sexism in Cycling project

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City by Peter Norton

Jody Rosen’s Twitter (with that great article about the bike’s economic impact)

Bicycle: The History by David Herlihy

• Bicycle Face: “I’m The Devil And You’re Not”

“New Mania In France” – Spokesman Review, June 13, 1897

“Inspired by the Devil” – The Madisonian, Oct 12, 1895

“The Highway Terror” – Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 19, 1898

“Lunacy In England” – New York Times, August 12, 1894

“Bicycle” – New York Times, Nov 1, 1872 (the mocking kids story) 

Bicycles and Central Park

“How The Bicycle Paved The Way For Women’s Rights” – The Atlantic

• Those economics reports: hat and cap marketbicycle dealership and repair, and bicycle manufacturing

• Our theme music: Caspar Babypants

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