two-wheeled thoughts: Willie Weir on portaging

A bicycle is freedom when you’re riding it; it’s a millstone when you’re not.

–Willie Weir, “Back Roads and Back Waters,” India section, Spokesongs

Portaging one’s bicycle is always a drag. Then again, some of us choose to race cyclocross. :)

two-wheeled thoughts: Willie Weir on dining

As a cyclist I try to avoid places with cute French names. These inevitably are dining establishments. Touring cyclists seldom dine, they feed.

–Willie Weir, “Beauties and the Beast,” South Africa section, Spokesongs

Remember, a cycle-tourist travels by bicycle; in this case, Willie is a self-supported tourist, meaning he carries all his gear and fuel and supplies on his bike. In other words, he needs calories. This two-wheeled thought comes from a funny little story involving a “dining establishment” in which he doesn’t feel he belongs.

two-wheeled thoughts: H.G. Wells

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.

–H.G. Wells

A classic.

two-wheeled thoughts: Robert Penn

You make a covenant with a bike like this – to ride it, and to look after it for as long as it bears you away to a refuge far from the present.

Robert Penn, It’s All About the Bike

Mmm. I’m feeling this one. Last summer I replaced all three of my mountain bikes with 29ers (learn more here), including my Best Bike to Date, a titanium hardtail. And then I hurt my thumb, and then I hurt my knee, and then I had all that time off the bike and then knee surgery, and I am feeling badly about neglecting ALL the bikes. I hope to be back on top of said covenant soon. Thanks again Pops for the inspiring quotations!

two-wheeled thoughts: Antonio Columbo

You cannot build good bicycles with unhappy workers.

- Antonio Columbo, scion of the famous Columbus steel tubing dynasty & owner of Cinelli Bicyles.

Thanks (again) to Pops for contributing today’s two-wheeled thoughts. I think there’s more to this one than bicycles. A philosophy for workers’ rights or even LIFE here, no?

two-wheeled thoughts: Robert Penn

The bicycle saves my life every day. If you have ever experienced a moment of awe or freedom on a bicycle… We know, it’s all about the bike.

Robert Penn, in the Prologue to It’s All About the Bike

two-wheeled thoughts: Einstein, and my father

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

–Albert Einstein

and the response:

…words for me that quite simply and literally define survival; physical movement = life.


two-wheeled thoughts: Jean-Paul Sartre

Handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession.
–Jean-Paul Sartre

Thanks Pops for today’s submission! Realizing my bicycles is indeed a lifelong journey, and I’m feeling it these days, working hard in physical therapy to try to get back to where I was… and onwards from there. I want to win a trophy to present to my PT.

two-wheeled thoughts: Gail Collins

If there’s any symbol for the transformation that had occurred in the lives of American women as they approached the twentieth century, it ought to be the bicycle.
–Gail Collins, America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines, as quoted in Around the World on Two Wheels

two-wheeled thoughts: Frances Willard

I had made myself master of the most remarkable, ingenious, and inspiring motor ever yet devised upon this planet.
–Frances Willard on learning to ride a bicycle, as quoted in Around the World on Two Wheels


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