citizen cyclists making urban spaces liveable

14 October 2010

Cycle Chic Sundays Does Tea and Cake in the Park (and yes we're back to Sundays!)

I thought it would be nice to find an historical Australian female cyclist, someone who once embodied cycle chic and perhaps still has the power to to inspire women to ride.

So when Elaena from Bike Sydney (amongst other fabulous ventures) put me on to Sarah Maddox it was clear that we needed a ride in her honour and coincidentally, October 29 is the 150th anniversary of her birth.

I hope you'll join us for some scones and tea and a lovely ride through the park in her honour.
There will be another gorgeous Basil pannier up for grabs thanks to Gazelle Australia and this one's for all you cycle chic men.  Competition details to be advised (when I have come up with something suitably challenging....)

WHAT: A leisurely ride in Centennial Park followed by a picnic with tea and cakes - perhaps a game of boules.  Please bring something delicious to eat and share
WHO: Anyone who favours style over speed and feels like lounging around in the park on a Summer's day with other similarly relaxed bicyclists
WHERE: Meet at the Paddington Gates at the corner of Lang Road and Oxford Street
WHEN: Sunday October 24 at 1pm

RSVP on our facebook page here and like us too while you're there if you haven't already.
Centennial Park info here.

A little background on Sarah Maddox.  Sarah was Australia's first long distance female cyclist and in 1893, when she had only just learned to ride, she and her husband set off for a 300 mile jaunt to Bega - averaging 60 miles a day on pretty terrible roads.  The following year she cycled from Sydney to Melbourne in nine days and her visit to the city started a cycling craze amongst Melbourne women. 
In 1895 she rode to Brisbane and back and on her way home (a journey of 9 days), she rode through bushfires, tropical downpours and floods - all on dirt roads.
She also started the Sydney Ladies Bicycle Club and was a strong supporter of women cycling at a time when the media were scathing.  A real woman of her time, she advocated that ladies should always look ladylike on their bicycles - a long dark coloured skirt, white cotton blouse, straw hat and light coloured gloves were the suggested uniform.  No surprise then that she was known for her elegance and grace. 

While, thankfully, times have changed and Western women have the freedom to wear and do as we please, it's important to remember those trailblazers who paved the way.  I'm sure there are many more, if you know stories, I'd love to hear them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a terrific story...thank you for researching it and sharing it with us all.