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Teaching a lady to ride a bicycle

The Derby Mercury, Wednesday 10th June 1896

Reading newspapers of 1896 for a project, I noticed how different the advice given in articles was. I though CACN readers might be slightly amused.

Take the pupil out on to a quiet road or lane - one having a gentle decline, preferably, at first. After assisting her to mount from the left side, let her have full control of the steering from the very first, the teacher balancing the machine from the back of the saddle or by a band round the rider's waist, but on no account should the machine and rider be held up forcibly by the handles and saddle, or the operation of teaching will be a lengthy one.

Impress on the learner's mind that when she feels the machine has an inclination to fall to the left, she should turn the steering-wheel slightly in the same direction, and not in the opposite direction, as a learner at first generally does.

As the pupil progresses, gradually lessen the support given to the machine until it is running un-supported without her knowing it, but run behind the machine to be in readiness to give support if necessary.

The machine, at the first few attempts, should be adjusted with the saddle rather low - this will give confidence to the rider - but when able to mount, dismount, and ride unaided, the saddle should be raised to its proper height.

To mount, have the machine so that the right pedal is just about to descend, hold the handles, place the right foot on the right pedal, put your weight on it, and raise yourself in the saddle. To dismount, waight on it, and bring the right foot over the left side.