BikeFACE: Darcie Smith

Rider statement from DARCIE SMITH: When I first moved to Toronto I was convinced the phrase "it's like riding a bike" was BS. I hadn't ridden since I was a kid and I was sure I did not know how to anymore. After a year of coaxing by my cyclist family and friends, I decided to go for it and get a bike. The first trip around the block was terrifying. I wobbled and could barely turn a corner, but I kept at it. Today, I completely identify as a cyclist, it's how I live in the city.

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 Darcie says, “Today, I completely identify as a cyclist, it's how I live in the city.”

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.

You can see each profile here.



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