In 1895, Annie Londonderry set out to cycle around the world. She was trying to beat a wager that no woman could ever do it, set by two rich men in a Boston pub the year before.
Her attitude will ring true with many female adventurers today: she’d barely learnt to ride a bike – a couple of quick lessons the day before sufficed. Although few today would want to start their ride in a corset.
“She swapped her bike for a lighter model with one gear and no brake. She swapped her dress and corset for bloomers and eventually for male cycling attire… In November she boarded a steam-ship to France and promptly had her bike confiscated by French customs.”
To read the my full account of this remarkable woman, in a time when women’s rights was a new idea, head over to Outdoor Revival.