Cycling became popular worldwide in the late 1800s and early 1900s and in the Hutt Valley residents were eager to cycle too. Cycles were fashionable, and expensive – top of the line models sold for around 20 pounds in 1900, an enormous sum. Cycle clubs began to form all over New Zealand. There was a lot of resistance to this new mode of transport, however. The ‘bicycle face’ was identified and widely written about in NZ and Britain – there may be some truth in this description of a ‘care-worn, strained look’ on the face of a cyclist – but now it’s probably related to avoiding traffic and pollution!
The ‘bicycle face, the hideous stare’ is particularly unattractive in women apparently.
No worries about ‘bicycle face’ or ‘helmet hair’ in this 1955 photo.