Sunday, May 01, 2005

Bicycling Quotes

  Bicycle riders would have us throw all this on the ash heap of history.  ~P.J. O'Rourke After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable.  A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go.  You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow.  ~H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance Messengers and mountain bikers share a common chromosome.  ~James Bethea If we all, mountain bikers, cyclists, multinational companies, Jo Public, respected the land like old civilizations we wouldn't get so many punctures.  Earth's revenge.  ~Jo Burt  (Thank you, Jacquie.) It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.  Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.  ~Ernest Hemingway Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.  ~John F. Kennedy Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.  ~H.G. Wells It is curious that with the advent of the automobile and the airplane, the bicycle is still with us.  Perhaps people like the world they can see from a bike, or the air they breathe when they're out on a bike.  Or they like the bicycle's simplicity and the precision with which it is made.  Or because they like the feeling of being able to hurtle through air one minute, and saunter through a park the next, without leaving behind clouds of choking exhaust, without leaving behind so much as a footstep.  ~Gurdon S. Leete The sound of a car door opening in front of you is similar to the sound of a gun being cocked.  ~Amy Webster Bicycling is the nearest approximation I know to the flight of birds.  The airplane simply carries a man on its back like an obedient Pegasus; it gives him no wings of his own.  ~Louis J. Helle, Jr., Spring in Washington There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country.  A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo.  Even a bicycle goes too fast.  ~Paul Scott Mowrer, The House of Europe You never have the wind with you - either it is against you or you're having a good day.  ~Daniel Behrman, The Man Who Loved Bicycles I came out for exercise, gentle exercise, and to notice the scenery and to botanise.  And no sooner do I get on that accursed machine than off I go hammer and tongs; I never look to right or left, never notice a flower, never see a view - get hot, juicy, red - like a grilled chop.  Get me on that machine and I have to go.  I go scorching along the road, and cursing aloud at myself for doing it.  ~H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple.  The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash.  ~Julie Furtado If you ride you know those moments when you have fed yourself into the traffic, felt the hashed-up asphalt rattle in the handlebars, held a lungful of air in a cloud of exhaust.  Up ahead there are two parallel buses.  With cat's whiskers, you measure the clearance down a doubtful alley.  You swing wide, outflank that flower truck.  The cross-street yellow light is turning red.  You burst off the green like a surfer on a wave of metal.  You have a hundred empty yards of Broadway to yourself.  ~Chip Brown, "A Bike and a Prayer" All bicycles weigh fifty pounds.  A thirty-pound bicycle needs a twenty-pound lock.  A forty-pound bicycle needs a ten-pound lock.  A fifty-pound bicycle doesn't need a lock.  ~Author Unknown Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.  ~Grant Petersen Most bicyclists in New York City obey instinct far more than they obey the traffic laws, which is to say that they run red lights, go the wrong way on one-way streets, violate cross-walks, and terrify innocents, because it just seems easier that way.  Cycling in the city, and particularly in midtown, is anarchy without malice.  ~Author unknown, from New Yorker, "Talk of the Town" All creatures who have ever walked have wished that they might fly.  With highwheelers a flesh and blood man can hitch wings to his feet.  ~Karl Kron, Ten Thousand Miles on a Bicycle What do you call a cyclist who doesn't wear a helmet?  An organ donor.  ~David Perry Consider a man riding a bicycle.  Whoever he is, we can say three things about him.  We know he got on the bicycle and started to move.  We know that at some point he will stop and get off.  Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it.  That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.  ~William Golding Book Recommendation: The Quotable Cyclist by Bill Strickland Acknowledgment: Thanks to Henry for bringing many of these quotations to our attention. 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