BikeFACE: Alison Chan

Rider statement by ALISON CHAN: Cycling is my therapy. It has brought me freedom, health, happiness, and empowerment. If you’ve been thinking about it, let these series of images be a testament of the strength, determination and power of women. You won’t regret it.

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 Alison says, “Cycling is my therapy. It has brought me freedom, health, happiness, and empowerment. If you’ve been thinking about it, let these series of images be a testament of the strength, determination and power of women. You won’t regret it.”

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.

Each profile is linked here.

 

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