Cycling – such a beautiful activity!
Whether you commute, race or just cycle for pleasure, there’s something quite magical about being both the passenger and the engine.
Did you know over a billion bicycles have been produced since their introduction in the 19th century? Twice the number of cars manufactured.
Bicycles have propelled people to incredible victories and inspired poets, writers and musicians alike.
Below we’ve brought together 25 of the best cycling quotes from all walks of life to help inspire you to get out and ride!
1. JFK on the Pleasure of Riding
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike. ~ John F. Kennedy
One of America’s finest Presidents couldn’t say it any better. The feeling of wind whooshing through your hair. The sense of total freedom with just the road ahead. There is something quite magical about the simple pleasure that riding a bike gives. Even if you’re out commuting every day and might have lost the charm, take in a weekend leisure ride around a local park to soak up the pleasure once again.
2. Grant Petersen on Bicycles as Art
Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world. ~ Grant Petersen
There is something quite beautiful about a row of bikes stacked together or the lone bicycle tied to a lamp post. Images of bikes along the canals of Amsterdam or cycling through the streets of Paris have become fond inspiration for painters, poets and authors alike. Indeed, quite a few romances at first sight have no doubt started from a glancing cyclist going past!
3. Jens Vought On Keeping Going
When my legs hurt, I say: “Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do! ~ Jens Voigt
Jens Voigt, the German road bicycle racer, knew a thing or two about cycling through the pain. He wore the yellow jersey of the Tour de France twice, and won the Critérium International a record-tying 5 times.
4. Scott Stoll on Cycling the World
A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke. ~ Scott Stoll
A nice play on the famous Lao Tzu quote “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” In one week, Scott Stoll lost his job, his best friend, his girlfriend and his confidence. Disillusioned he asked himself a question: “If I only have one life, one chance, if I could do anything, what would I do?” The answer was a 4 year and 25,742 mile cycle ride around the world.
5. Martin Scott on Bicycles and Progress
Bicycles are the indicator species of a community, like shellfish in a bay. ~ P. Martin Scott
Similar to H.G. Wells, Scott shares the same romanticism about the presence of bicycles in society and what they represent as the intellectual totem pole for an advanced species.
6. Jake Watson on the Right Way to Brake
Never use your face as a brake pad. ~ Jake Watson
Fine advice if you’ve ever had a bad cycle crash (join the club). Watson was an American cyclist known for his massive frame. He was given the nickname “Earthquake” early into his cycling. Tragically he lost his life during downhill practice for the Keysville Classic as a result of injuries sustained in a crash.
7. Zapata Espinoza on Cycling and Timelessness
Bicycles may change, but cycling is timeless. ~ Zapata Espinoza
Take a photo of a lone bike on a street in black and white or sepia and compare it with one from a hundred years ago. Yes it might look a little different aesthetically, but the essence, the purpose, is just as present as it was hundred years ago. Cycling truly is timeless – hopefully something we will all still being doing in a hundred years from now.
8. William Saroyan on the Invention of the Bike
The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. ~ William Saroyan
The bicycle is indeed a beautiful invention. Several components that played a vital role in the development of the car were initially invented for use in the bicycle, including ball bearings, pneumatic tires, chain-driven sprockets and tension-spoked wheels.
9. James Starrs on Cycling and Happiness
A bicycle ride is a flight from sadness. ~ James E. Starrs
Ever felt worried, confused or a bit blue and gone for a cycle ride? It has the wonderful ability to bring peace to your thoughts and allow for quiet reflection.
10. H.G. Wells on Cycling in Utopia
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. ~ H.G. Wells
H.G. Wells had quite the vivid imagination. A prolific writer in many genres, he was a passionate cyclist and frequently rode around Regents Park where he lived in London for most of his life. Fun fact: he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.
11. On Living to Cycle
Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to bike. Bike to work. ~ Unknown
The circle of life per the 21st century cyclist.
12. Eddy Merckx on Always Riding
Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride. ~ Eddy Merckx
Eddy Merckx needs little introduction. He was a Belgian professional road and track bicycle racer. Famous for his rides in the 1960s and 1970s he went on to claim a record-breaking 11 Grand Tour victories. He acquired the nickname “The Cannibal” after a teammate told his daughter how Merckx would not let anyone else win, and she referred to him as a cannibal. He achieved 525 victories over his two-decade career.
13. Sean Coffey On Your Relationship With Your Bike
A mountain bike is like your buddy. A road bike is your lover. ~ Sean Coffey
This one might be contested by the mountain bikers! After biking down a few mountains there might be a stronger bond than just friendship forming, assuming you make it down in one piece.
14. Hallman on Cycling and Life
Life may not be about your bike, but it sure can help you get through it. ~ Hallman
If there was a quote to capture the beauty of cycling this might be it. Whatever times come up in life, your bike is a trusted ally in getting through. Whether its simply getting from A to B, going out for a weekend race or exploring nearby nature with your family, the bike is a cornerstone of a rewarding experience no matter what the circumstances.
15. Chip Brown on the People who Cycle
Like dogs, bicycles are social catalysts that attract a superior category of people. ~ Chip Brown
There’s definitely a lot of positive things to be said about the type of people that ride bicycles!
16. Greg LeMond on Cycling
It never gets easier; you just go faster. ~ Greg LeMond
LeMond, a cycling legend, knew about digging deep. He won the Road Race World Championship twice and the Tour de France three times (1986, 1989 and 1990). A fierce anti-doping advocate, he was one of the first to call out Lance Armstrong for doping in 2001 which hit him personally in the pocket after his bicycle line was shut down.
17. Bob Weir on Cycling and Meeting Girls
Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls. ~ Bob Weir
Bob Weir probably met a few girls in his era. He was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the Grateful Dead. A huge bicycle enthusiast, he would regularly enthuse about his joint passions of making music and cycling.
18. John Howard on Being an Engine
The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine. ~ John Howard
If the passenger is the engine then Howard was a powerful one. The American cyclist set a land speed record of over 150 miles per hour while motor-pacing on a pedal bicycle in 1985 on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats. He was also a competitor at the 1968, 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics and won the gold medal in the 1971 Pan American Games road cycling race.
19. Johan Musueuw on Crashing
Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love. ~ Johan Museeuw
Another pro-cyclist, Museeuw knew something about the pains of cycling and love. He was a professional from 1988 to 2004 and was particularly successful through the classic cycle races in the nineties.
20. Mark Twain on Learning to Ride
Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live. ~ Mark Twain
Mark Twain was a beautiful thinker and fond cyclist. His quotes and musings could fill libraries. Less well known is that incredibly he nearly predicted his own death. He was born shortly after a visit by Halley’s Comet and he predicted that he would “go out with it”, too. He died the day after the comet returned.
21. Eddy Merkx on Suffering
The race is won by the rider who can suffer the most. ~ Eddy Merckx
Merckx was renowned for being one of the hardest and most enduring cyclers of his time. He is one of only three riders to have won all five ‘Monuments of Cycling’ (Milan–San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and the Giro di Lombardia). He continues to be active in the sport even to this day.
22. Tutu on Cycling
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
Tutu is such a beautiful thinker with a wonderful sense of humour. A fond cyclist back in his earlier years. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
23. On What Cycling Brings to Life
I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days. ~ Unknown
Something about cycling brings adventure into whatever your doing. Even if it’s the morning commute, cycling through a busy city tends to bring a lot more animation to your daily life than walking or taking the bus. Cycling, like almost nothing else, brings you into the present moment and a heightened awareness of everything around you. In that sense it creates a window to perceive everything just as brilliantly as it always has been but you tend to not notice in your day to day.
24. Sean Yates on Cycling Morale
Good morale in cycling comes from good legs. ~ Sean Yates
Sean Yates is an English former professional cyclist and directeur sportif. Nicknamed ‘The Animal’ by his teammates, he spent most of his career as a domestique and was known for being powerful on flat stages and as a descender of mountains. He retired in the mid-90s having competed in 12 Tours, completing nine.
25. Heinz Stucke on Cycling into the Unknown
It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels. ~ Heinz Stucke
Heinz Stucke was an amazing character. In November 1962, as a 22-year-old he quit his job and rode out of his hometown on a three-speed bicycle, with a plan to see the world. He has never since returned home. In 1995, he set a world record for bicycle touring with a global journey spanning more than 50 years; he has travelled several hundred thousand kilometres by bicycle.