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Corsets and Riding a Bike / Motorcycle

Welcome to another Fast Foundation Friday! Today we will explore the question of whether you’re able to ride a bicycle / motorcycle while wearing a corset.

While I don’t own a motorcycle or a bike (so I can’t give you a live demo unfortunately), I do however know a few corset wearers who do ride bikes or motorcycles. The have informed me that the corset works on a bike similarly to how corsets helped cavaliers on their horses in the 19th century: the corset helps correct posture while on the motorbike, it can act like a kidney belt to prevent organ jiggling especially over gravel, and it can provide another layer of proprioceptive feedback (telling you when you’re leaning and when you’re straight).

One acquaintance who rides motorcycles, Deanna, contributed to my Solaced book. Hers is the first story of the Back Injuries chapter, you can read her story for free if you go to Amazon and read the kindle sample. In her testimony, she mentioned that she had wiped out on her motorcycle twice – once before discovering corsets (and wearing a corset helped in back recovery) and quite a bit later, she had an accident again – this time while wearing her corset. The second time she had an accident, she said she had injured almost every part of her body except where her corset covered (armor indeed!).

“Love Will Find a Wheel” by Sarah Chrisman – a story about Victorian Biking Clubs. Image courtesy of Amazon.

Regarding bicycles, there are many accounts of corset wearers biking while in a corset. The first person that comes to mind is Sarah Chrisman, author of Victorian Secrets. She is a lifestyle corset wearer and has many pictures of herself on a bike as well as many resources from the Victorian era regarding bicycling.

For those who are looking for some advice regarding how to start riding your bike while in a corset – some common sense tips include getting used to riding your bike without the corset, and getting accustomed to wearing your corset before jumping on a bike. Learn how to breathe, bend and move in a corset before your first bike trip, and learn your bike paths and figure out how much you’ll be exerting yourself.

While on your bike, in your corset, pace yourself so you don’t get too winded e.g. when going up hills, and don’t be afraid to stop and loosen the corset if you feel the need to. I will always say safety first on the road, so if a corset prevents you from turning properly to check any blind spots behind you (regardless of the vehicle) then you may want to consider going without the corset – take it in your bag and put the corset on when you get to your destination.

Do you have any other ideas or questions you want answered in future Fast Foundation videos? Leave a comment below!

2 thoughts on “Corsets and Riding a Bike / Motorcycle

  1. Yes, it is entirely possible and comfortable to wear a proper corset on a motorcycle even for long day trips! About 15 years or so ago I, without much research into the subject at all, purchased a few off-the-rack and one custom-made corset of varying styles with the intent of waist training. I found this endeavor near impossible due to my trim athletic body shape and my job as a paramedic. As such I settled for just shaping and support, as, after all, historically that is for what corsetry was intended.

    When I purchased my corsets I had been riding motorcycles for about six years and had acquired, what I refer to as, a Harley slouch. No matter how I tried to sit up my posture devolved as my attention focused on the road and other vehicles around me. One day as I was lacing into one of my short underbust corsets, which actually did resemble a Victorian riding corset, I decided to give it a try on my bike. While the corset did not entirely correct my posture, it did provide very comfortable support. I should not have been so surprised!

    After that I wore my short corset every time I rode and found that it made long daytrips so much less fatiguing. I rode cross country to a biannual gathering of motorcycling women and several were openly curious about my corset. One of the ladies, who endured her beloved two-wheeled sport with chronic back pain, ended up purchasing one and wrote to me after her first ride in it to say it was a total game changer for her!

    Unfortunately I ended up gaining too much weight to fit into my corsets and they fell by the wayside. I also went through several different bikes that changed the way I sat on them to encourage better posture. Now that I am older and daylong rides on the bike are not as comfortable as they once were, I am considering purchasing a new corset in which to ride again. However, I am older and wiser and have been doing a ton of research on the history and construction of proper corsets. I have found that a quality corset is not easily affordable, at least not on a paramedic’s wages! So I shall save and make a smart purchase.

    I hope my story helps!

  2. Yes I believe it would be possible to ride a bike while wearing a corset. I actually wear a full body clamshell TLSO brace, (like a turtle shell) which extends from base of neck to over the pelvis/hips. And I have ridden my bicycle with it on. It is however a challenge with more exertion or going uphill due to limited breathing capacity because the plastic shell does not expand. My brace is rigid plastic with special ratchet straps, not flexible like a typical corset. But if I can ride a bicycle with such a rigid brace, then someone should be able to ride with a more flexible corset.

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