Read of the Day: “The Renegade Rider of 1894″
6:00 pm, May 17th | by Colette McIntyre
Annie Londonderry was before her time: free-thinking, daring, entrepreneurial, Annie was cursed with an anachronistic spirit; in the Victorian Age, she was a remarkable anomaly. In 1895, Annie Londonderry became the first woman to bicycle around the globe. In 1947, she died in obscurity. Today on Narrative.ly, Amanda Lin Costa shares this extraordinary woman’s story.
Whether Annie’s adventure was to fulfill a wager, as she boasted to newspapers, or to fulfill her own whimsical desire to change her life – change her life Mrs. Kopchovosky did; Miss Londonderry, as she became known to the world, attracted headlines as one of the most infamous sport stars, as well as suspected charlatans, of her time. Annie’s chutzpah and bravado also made her an international symbol of the “New Woman” – a term popularized by the American author Henry James in the late nineteenth century and adopted in the early stages of the modern feminist movement.
Many consider the 1890s to be the start of the modern world, with New York City glittering at the forefront of change: a woman’s right to vote was just around the corner; the city was swiftly becoming the center of the advertising and newspaper world; Broadway, the city’s most famous street, was soon to be synonymous with top-notch theater worldwide and Madison Square Garden was home to unprecedented sports spectaculars including cycling races and expos. Despite the popularity of cycling at the time, sports sponsorship of women was non-existent, but Annie Londonderry was about to change that forever.
It certainly wasn’t this simple, but it was as though one rebellious woman donned a pair of bloomers, hopped on a bicycle, and the world was forever changed, stepping into modernity and never looking back.
To read more about Annie Londonderry, “The Renegade Rider of 1894,” just click here.