13 Great Quotes About Bikes and Cycling

Updated on July 12, 2020
boxelderred profile image

I'm an avid cyclist who has ridden 27,000+ miles over the past seven years. I enjoy sharing the little I know with interested others.

Almost everyone will ride a bike at some point in their life. These quotes capture the pure and universal bliss of cycling.
Almost everyone will ride a bike at some point in their life. These quotes capture the pure and universal bliss of cycling. | Source

The Best Cycling Quotes of All Time

Need a little two-wheeled inspiration? Not to be trite, but like wheels on a bike, one could go round and round about which are the best quotes about bikes, bicycling, and all things related to two-wheeled motivity. Like many who ride, I have quite a few favorite quotes about cycling, and I’ve brought them together right here to share with you.

Even if they aren’t what you personally might call the GOAT (greatest of all time), I think each one is frame-worthy and would look nice hanging in the form of a fancy print on the wall right next to your bicycle, in your living room, above the headboard in your bedroom, or . . . anywhere, really.

I hope you enjoy these quotes, and I also hope you keep on riding (or take it back up . . . or start . . . or whatever is applicable to your particular situation). Even if you don’t ride, I still encourage you to take a read and notice that many of these quotes apply to life at large—not just life "behind bars."

Also, if you have a favorite quote of your own that you’d like me to add to my list, don’t be shy about sending it to me via e-mail. You can also leave it in the comments section below if you’d prefer.

Perfect circles—pedal on.

Quotes 13–11

13. "Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to . . ."

Dr. K.K. Doty

12. "It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic gold medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport."

Scott Martin

11.

Ned Flanders: "You were bicycling two abreast?"
Homer Simpson: "I wish. We were bicycling to a lake."

―The Simpsons ("Dangerous Curves" Season 20, Episode 5, written by Billy Kimball and Ian Maxtone-Graham)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Beautiful Darby Road near Moscow, Idaho, USATwo Wheels of my Own!  Riding is a Good Time to Be Alone with Your ShadowThe Crest After a Long Grunt Uphill
Beautiful Darby Road near Moscow, Idaho, USA
Beautiful Darby Road near Moscow, Idaho, USA | Source
Two Wheels of my Own!
Two Wheels of my Own! | Source
Riding is a Good Time to Be Alone with Your Shadow
Riding is a Good Time to Be Alone with Your Shadow | Source
The Crest After a Long Grunt Uphill
The Crest After a Long Grunt Uphill | Source

The Joy of Cycling

Bicycles bring joy to those who ride them, and these days, more people are riding than ever. Though there has definitely been an increase in cycling activity lately, the pastime has been wildly popular almost since the day Baron Karl von Drais invented his Laufmaschine in 1817. Penny farthings and other crazy and sometimes impractical styles followed through the ages and contributed to the increase in riders over the years.

Today, there are more makes, models, types, and designs than ever before. More and more companies are crafting high, medium, and low-end bicycles to suit consumers from every walk of life. Nearly everyone—from rich and famous celebrities to fast and furious professional riders to avid everydayers to young children to entire families out on the open road or the paved trail together—rides, has ridden, or will ride a bike.

Quotes 10–7

10. "Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living! Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and go ripping and tearing through streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at twenty miles or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well, now, that’s something! And then go home again after three hours of it . . . and then to think that tomorrow I can do it all over again!"

―Jack London

9. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

―Albert Einstein

8. "My father showed me that the benefits of bicycling run much deeper than physical fitness. What we've stumbled across is a basic world rhythm imitated by those pedals spinning round. There's a youth force living in the suspended energy of that age-old diamond frame."

―Joe Kita (Wisdom of Our Fathers)

7. "When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise you're not riding hard."

―George W. Bush (Former US President)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Palouse is a Beautiful Place to RideLife Behind BarsRiding in Style on a Folding Bianchi BikeA Snowy Winter Ride
The Palouse is a Beautiful Place to Ride
The Palouse is a Beautiful Place to Ride | Source
Life Behind Bars
Life Behind Bars | Source
Riding in Style on a Folding Bianchi Bike
Riding in Style on a Folding Bianchi Bike | Source
A Snowy Winter Ride
A Snowy Winter Ride | Source

Learning to Ride a Bike

Bicycling is one of our most accesible pastimes. All you need is a quick lesson in balance. This can happen at a very early age—I was around five years old or thereabouts when I first learned to ride. I remember to this day the first time I rode a bicycle with no training wheels attached. We lived in Omaha, Nebraska, in the Offutt Air Force Base housing complex.

I had a small, red big-box-store bike with hard rubber, no-air-required tires like you’d find on a kid’s tricycle. I’m sure my older sister learned to ride on it first, as the bike was a convertible of sorts. It had a top tube bar that could be removed or added for girls and boys, respectively. That day, my dad (who’d already put the top tube on) took the training wheels off the little red bike, pushed me a few steps, and let me go round the block over and over.

It was an asphalt cul-de-sac loop with a small, grassy field in the middle. The route was long enough to be challenging for my five-year-old legs, and it was removed enough from traffic to be a wonderful safe haven for an aspiring young bike rider. A few scrape and scab trophies accumulated after several falls, but in less than an afternoon, I knew forever how to stay up on two wheels. I’m sure most everyone has a similar memory of the day they first learned to ride.

Quotes 6–4

6. "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 (1896)

5. "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood."

―Susan B. Anthony (1896)

4. "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."

―John F. Kennedy

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Starting Line:  Fondo on the Palouse 2018Freedom and Beautiful Scenery:  Why We RideCycling is the Closest You Can Get to Flying
Starting Line:  Fondo on the Palouse 2018
Starting Line: Fondo on the Palouse 2018 | Source
Freedom and Beautiful Scenery:  Why We Ride
Freedom and Beautiful Scenery: Why We Ride | Source
Cycling is the Closest You Can Get to Flying
Cycling is the Closest You Can Get to Flying | Source

Something We All Have in Common

Not only is cycling accessible, but its ubiquity also makes it part of nearly everyone’s vernacular. I mean, who hasn’t heard that most famous of all cycling quotes in reference to all manner of other things? “Oh, it’s just like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, you never forget.”

Everyone says it at one point or another about something or other, and everyone else knows exactly what it means when it gets said! It seems the cycling experience, then, is definitely one to which we all can relate. It's something we can all share and understand.

Quotes 3–1

3. "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."

—Desmond Tutu

2. "The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard."

—Sloan Wilson

1. "Cycling is the closest you can get to flying."

—Robin Williams

5 Ways Cycling Can Change Your Life

How Old Were You When You Learned to Ride a Bike?

See results

© 2020 greg cain

Share Your Favorite Bicycling Quote in the Comments

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    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      6 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi Kenneth - thanks for passing by and giving a read. I don't want to depress, but I do think the Western Auto bike sounds cool, sounds vintage, sounds like something you loved deeply. I wish you well, my friend, and thank you for the kind words.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      6 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      greg . . .truly an in-depth and concise hub. Bicycles.I love them and I had one from he age 6 until I was 12. I am now 66 and not the best of health, but I promise you that if God were to grant me my good health once more,, I would ask for my red,Western Auto bike. I loved that machine. And to talk further only dredges-up depression.

      Keep up the fine work.

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi Liz - Thanks so much! Yes, when my son was born, I couldn't wait to get him on the back of the bike in one of those seats you're talking about. As soon as he could hold his head up with a helmet on it, he would go with me every afternoon for a ride. We were fortunate that I was attending school then and time and had the time to do that. He'd nap hard while I rode along my merry way. By the time we made it back home to mom we were both invigorated from the ride!

      Quote number two is waiting for the day when your young grandchildren are ready to ride...it's a great but very bittersweet day.

      Be well, and thanks for giving this a look.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 weeks ago from UK

      This is a great article for keen cyclists. My young grandchildren enjoy rides strapped in a seat on the back of their Dad's bike. It won't be long before they are cycling themselves.

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi Shauna - I'm jealous of your cousin! And of you for being so close to a treasured '62 'Vette like that. Seems a Corvette hardtop would be an interesting addition to the sitting room of a Victorian home. What a great conversation piece!

      I love classic cars, too, though it is not a hobby I will ever take up, of course. Like most all of us, I have to do triage on the time I spend on all the different hobbies I have now...balance is key to everything (like Albert said!) and there are only so many ticks on the clock throughout any given day.

      Have a blessed day, Shauna.

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Devika - indeed, it is so very true. And since you say you've never ridden a bike before, here's something to consider: I love the picture of Albert Einstein that often accompanies this quote elsewhere around the internet. He is wearing a sh*t-eating grin along with long pants, dress shoes and a sweater. You can tell he's leaning into a slight left-hand turn, and you can also tell he's absolutely having a blast as his hair blows back in the breeze. This is quite a contrast to the man who proffered to the world "energy equals mass times the speed of light" in what must have been for him a very intense and serious period of time in his life. Joy and freedom from everyday stresses generated atop the bike likely served as a nice, light counterbalance to all that heavy thinking.

      I think we need always to keep this wonderful thought in mind.

      Good week and thanks for stopping by again, Devika.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Greg, my cousin had a red and white '62 Corvette with the hard top convertible. He'd take it off and lay it in front of a bay window in the sitting room of an old Victorian we lived in. To this day he restores antique and classic cars. I think I got my love of and appreciation for classic cars from him.

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi Miss Ruby - 3-wheelers are great! My former neighbor--she and her husband sold their house and moved closer to family--had a very good friend who would come and visit annually. The friend had a blue 3-wheeler with a basket on the front of it and she'd ride up and down our block while they were vacationing here, living out of their RV. The last year they were here, her husband and the husband of my neighbor installed an electric drive kit on the 3-wheeler bike. She loved the bike even more after that! Anyway, I agree with you...cycling is great exercise, it can remain accessible to us even as we increment upward in time spent here on planet earth.

      I think most everyone who had a first bike probably can remember it. Yours is a great case in point. Boys bike though it was, it was memorable and you loved it!

      I rode a girl's bike for six months when I was deployed to the sandbox back around the turn of the century. The wheels on the bike go round and round no matter who it may have been designed for...

      Have a great week, Ruby.

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Bill - I have always ridden to a degree, but I never became super passionate about it until my mobility basically depended on it. I have RA, was diagnosed with it in '95 as a very young man, cannot run and needed to remain fit in order to continue serving in the USAF. When I was much younger, I couldn't wait to someday own a red and white '62 Corvette with removable hardtop. For lots of "life-got-in-the-way" reasons, I never could swing that. And today, instead of drooling over classic cars, I read the wish books online from Specialized, Trek, Cannondale and the like, and I spend a lot of time in my LBSs (local bike shops). So many bikes, so little time, not nearly enough disposable income. And so it goes...

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      7 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I have never ridden a bicycle you encourage that here. . My favorite is “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

      ― Albert Einstein

      It is true about life isn't it?

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi Shauna - thanks, and you are too kind. I take and post a picture daily from my ride. Some of those have turned out quite well over the years. Perhaps it was a bit self-indulgent of me to include one of my own quotes, but I remembered that day from two years ago, remembered being happy with the way the sentiment turned out in writing. It also is an allusion to my number one quote from the comic genius Robin Williams. As a former USAF pilot myself, I love his quote so very much and find myself wishing I’d invented those words because they capture to a T the way I feel when I ride. Have a great week, Shauna!

    • boxelderred profile imageAUTHOR

      greg cain 

      7 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

      Hi RoadMonkey - a little wobbly at first, and then right along the way because riding a bike is just like riding a bike! Once you learn you never forget... I do not know much about cycling and vertigo, though I can remember having a bout with that sort of thing a few years back when I had a head cold or something similar. I feared for a time (day or so) that I was being overcome with something that might jeopardize my ability to ride for the long term. I don't think I'd do well if that ever happened. Fingers crossed.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read. Have a great week, too!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      7 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      I had a two wheeler and fell and really hurt my arm and hip, so I got a 3 wheeler and I love it. It's great exercise. I remember my first bike. My sister got it somewhere, the only problem, it was a boy's bike and my feet just barely touched the pedals. but I loved it. I think I was 7. Great article/quotes.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Do you have any idea how long it's been since I rode a bike? I don't! At least twenty years. My God, I once rode all over the city as a kid and young teen...then I bought a '69 Camaro and I've never looked back. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      7 weeks ago from Central Florida

      My favorite quote is yours, Greg. I also love the photos. You take some nice shots.

      I enjoyed this read!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      7 weeks ago

      I learnt to cycle as a child (though not at the age of 5 years, maybe 11 years old) and cycled for a few years until I became a teen and then life took over. I got on a bike again for the first time in maybe 30 years when I went on a management training course. A little wobbly but soon picked it up again. Having suffered occasionally from vertigo (affects the balance) and found that balance exercises helped me recover, I would think that cycling with the balance requirement might also help vertigo sufferers improve though maybe not when it is at its worst. Great topic and some interesting quotes.

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