KATIE WITTMANN rider statement: "Cycling is a huge part of my life and my identity. It’s my primary mode of transportation all year round, and it’s one of my main forms of training. I compete (for fun) in triathlons, and train with the University of Toronto Triathlon Club. I also love adventuring and touring by bike, using cycling as a way to explore new places. I can’t imagine my life without cycling, and the more people I see biking in Toronto, the happier and more hopeful for the future of our city I become."
dandyhorse is pleased to present the photo essay BikeFACE! by Marc Bernhard
In 1890s Europe and North America, the bicycle was gaining popularity as a means of transportation, recreational activity and sport. However, medical opinion about the health benefits of cycling, especially for women, was mixed. One of the supposed risks for women was a condition known as “bicycle face.”
At the turn of the century the bicycle afforded many women increased freedom and autonomy, and the bicycle itself became a symbol of women’s emancipation. With the ridiculous prognosis of "bicycle face" we saw how cycling, feminism, patriarchy and medical opinion collided in the1890s.
Photographer Marc Bernhard says, "The purpose of BikeFACE! is to promote and celebrate women’s commuter, recreational and sport cycling. It is a series of studio images in which the subjects were invited to ride their bikes on a stationary trainer at full exertion to see what their bicycle face might look like. The series is meant to be a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek reference to the historical anti-feminist ideas against cycling, by showing the strength, intensity and determination of women cyclists today."
Featured rider Katie Wittman says, "...I can’t imagine my life without cycling, and the more people I see biking in Toronto, the happier and more hopeful for the future of our city I become."
dandyhorse is pleased to present this essay celebrating women cyclists in our city -- just in time for Bike Month! You can read more about "bicycle face" here.
We'll be rolling out each profile one at a time throughout Bike Month and adding all the links here.