BikeFACE: Erika McDonald

Rider statement from ERIKA MCDONALD: Living in a city like Toronto, relying on public transport or taxis to get where you need to go isn’t always the best, or most affordable, option. Having a bike is having freedom. The freedom to go where you want. From grocery store runs, to hanging out with friends, heading into work or on a leisurely ride by the waterfront, I’m happiest when I’m biking!

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 Erika says, “Having a bike is having freedom. ... I’m happiest when I’m biking!”

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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