The Quotable Cyclist

Cyclists are generally more educated and intelligent than the general population. They also tend to have higher incomes, are healthier and perceived as being more attractive. You can check the research if you have any doubts. This may explain why I keep running across all these magnificent quotes about cycling. I decided it would be fun to share a few cycling and travel quotes with you. Please feel free to use these as you like. For example, say you are at a party and the conversation turns to travel, then you can add, in your most profound voice, “I believe it was Gilbert K. Chesterton who noted that “the traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”  I will leave it to you as to how you use these quotes but I am sure you will enjoy reading them at the very least. Feel free to add new ones in the comment section.

Staying with travel before we turn to a dozen cycling quotes:

“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.”  Susan Heller

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” Paul Theroux

For our first cycling quote let us turn to a man of the cloth:

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring.” Bishop Desmond Tutu

Men and women of letters have long loved cycling:

“The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.” Christopher Morley

“Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.” Mark Twain

“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

You may recall that Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote were the best of friends so of course they had competing quotes:

“Perhaps the most vivid recollection of my youth is that of the local wheelmen, led by my father, stopping at our home to eat pone, sip mint juleps, and flog the field hands. This more than anything cultivated my life-long aversion to bicycles.” –Tennessee Williams

“Perhaps the most vivid recollection of my youth is that of being flogged by the local wheelmen, along with the field hands, the postman, and a young Tennessee Williams. This more than anything cultivated my life-long aversion to his plays.” Truman Capote

Ernest Hemingway enjoyed cycling claiming that “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.”

Many great ideas have been discovered on a bicycle Albert Einstein claimed that “I thought of that (the Theory of Relativity) while riding my bike.”

Men and women have often mentioned the sexual allure of cycling:

“Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.” Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

“The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.” Ann Strong

And finally, cycling is good for your mental health and general wellbeing:

“To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world” Mark Cavendish

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle




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