CHAPTER IV.

CYCLING.

THERE is really "something new under the sun." While on the subject of exercise and "fads," I may as well devote a little space to the latest 'fad,' viz.: bicycling for ladies.   Not so very long ago a staunch, sedate member of church and society, having no desire to step out of the groove that controls the mechanism of her life, and having little respect or sympathy for those that enjoy life in their own way, said to me:   "What will you do next?   It would not surprise me to hear you were president of a bicycle club."   I never could decide whether it was said in admiration or intended for a "crusher."   In the meantime progress and the nineteenth century have pressed onward, and recently, owing to press of other duties, I have had the honor to decline an urgent invitation to become an active member of a ladies' bicycle club.   A few years ago it was an unusual occurrence to see ladies using the tricycle.   Now our avenues are lined with ladies on the " two-wheeler."   How gracefully they glide along, noiseless, untiring, at the rate of twelve or fifteen miles an hour, and how sensible they look. Apparently the bicycle used by ladies does not differ from those of the same patent used by gentlemen, but by a little trick of the inventor the connecting rod of the two wheels is so arranged that any ordinary full skirt or riding habit is perfectly convenient, and the appearance of the rider graceful and modest.   To quote the words of Ralph Temple, an enthusiast on the benefits of the wheel, and also champion rider of the world: "Cycling is more than sport, it combines health, business and pleasure.   As a recreation it is a gymnasium in itself.   It not only develops the lower limbs but extends its influence to the head, chest, lungs and stomach.   It drives away headache permanently by forcing the blood from the head to the feet; it decreases the loose flesh of the heavy person, and in creases the weight of thin people."

It looks as if this 'fad' had come to stay, for the popularity of cycling for ladies is rapidly and steadily increasing.   The exquisite complexions produced by the outdoor exercise are proofs of its benefits physically, and it only requires a little nerve, moral courage, and a bicycle to make it an established conveyance for ladies as well as gentlemen.