The woman pictured in this 1898 Library of Congress photograph calls to me to hop on my bike and join her! In the late 19th-century bicycle riding was becoming an increasingly popular activity for women. Many disapproved of the new bicycle “costumes” worn, rather than the respectable long skirts and tightly- fitted bodices of the day.
I love the devil-may-care way she rides that tall bike with one hand, pedaling furiously to outrun the impending storm. Is she using her bugle to call an alert “watch out guys, in 22 years I will be voting” or is she just demonstrating the impressive multi-tasking skills of all women by riding a bike and playing a bugle?
To celebrate Women’s History this month, enjoy an inspiring poem by the Harlem Renaissance poet Georgia Douglas Johnson.
Let Me Not Lose My Dream
Let me not lose my dream, e’en though I scan the veil
with eyes unseeing through their glaze of tears,
Let me not falter, though the rungs of fortune perish
as I fare above the tumult, praying purer air,
Let me not lose the vision, gird me, Powers that toss
the worlds, I pray!
Hold me, and guard, lest anguish tear my dreams away!