Amazing Bike Lawn Mowers, article by Warren McLaren on Treehugger. Too funny. I believe that when I saw one of these in some old friends yard ( you know who you are), it was called, A Redneck Lawnmower.
A skirt guard [in this case crochet] was necessary for ladies who cycled in long skirts. The guard prevented the skirt flapping into the spokes and causing an accident and preventing mud from splashing up. Modern cycles don't even have a mud guard.