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20161228 Culture Express

Culture Express

拟播时间:2016.12.28   写稿:田婧  审校:陈扬扬   播音:田婧、周启航   剪辑:周启航

On Your Bike

R: Hello and welcome to Culture Express. I’m Rachel

D: And I’m Dionysus. Did you ride the yellow bicycle on our campus today, Rachel?

R: No, I didn’t . I’m not a cycling enthusiast, Dionysus —— unlike you!

D: It is pretty cool stuff —— in fact just thinking about it makes me want to jump on the bike and ride off right now!

R: Don’t go just yet, because today’s show is all about bicycles. And first, I’d like you to tell you a bit about the history of the bike.

D: If you insist. Well, before the modern bike was invented in 1885, people rode boneshakers and even tricycles.

R: What’s a boneshaker, Dionysus?

D: It was the first bike with pedals. People called it a boneshaker because its tyres were made of iron so it was very uncomfortable to ride —— especially over rugged streets.

R: Wow that sounds awful! As I suppose, the bicycle started out as an expensive toy for the middle classes —— but when manufacturing costs dropped, they became a kind of common vehicle.

D: Indeed. By the late nineteenth century, bikes had become affordable for a large proportion of the population —— and the technology had moved on so they weren’t so dangerous —— or so uncomfortable to ride.

R: And for the first time in history, people had the freedom to travel where they wanted when they wanted —— including women! Can you tell us more about it?

D: In very practical terms, it had a very significant effect on what women wore in public. And when they first rode bicycles they were expected to ride in long ankle length skirts, which was entirely impractical. So they adopted what was called rational dress. And rational dress was a better fitting jacket and pantaloons (trousers) which were cinched below the knee, which meant that nothing got caught in the bicycle chain. And at first there was massive public outrage. There were court cases about whether or not women were allowed to be served in pubs wearing this sort of dress.

R: So women in the nineteenth century typically wore long skirts and petticoats, a piece of clothing worn under a dress or skirt. It wasn’t logical to wear ankle length skirts with petticoats on a bike, therefore women started wearing pantaloons.

D: But pantaloons for women still caused anger from the public —— because although they were baggy, they were still trousers and they didn’t go down to the ankle, which was regarded shameful for women. So actually bikes played a part in women’s struggle for liberation and equality.

R: You are right. Quite beyond your expectations, hmm?

D: Sure, how does that saying go? Ah, you live and learn. That’s right. Well, that’s the end of today’s Culture Express. Thank you for your listening!

R: Do join us next week. Bye!

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