Victorian men on bicycles: The original hipsters?

Thanks for the history.

The Victorian Cyclist

There is an undeniable air of ‘the hipster’ in photos such as the one above. To own a bicycle, have slightly avant-garde facial hair, and wear vintage clothing, are all key ingredients if (as a man- two will suffice for women), you want to claim membership of that ever-expanding modern tribe which is ‘hipsterdom’.

For those who are unfamiliar with the hipster and his or her ways, let me try to briefly explain. Perhaps the best starting point is the recently published ‘Ladybird book of the hipster’ which provides the following definition and illustration:

After living in Leeds for a while I have built up an understanding (primarily through observation rather than doing), that to be hipster is to wherever possible, reject mainstream culture in favour of more organic, vintage and bearded alternatives. You don’t drive a car, you pedal a bicycle. You don’t grow and groom stubble, but rather…

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