two-wheeled thoughts: Helen Keller

Next to a leisurely walk I enjoy a spin on my tandem bicycle. It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face and the springy motion of my iron steed. The rapid rush through the air gives me a delicious sense of strength and buoyancy, and the exercise makes my pulse dance and my heart sing.

–Helen Keller

Thanks, Pops, for this week’s two-wheeled thought. Lovely. Couldn’t have said it better!

two-wheeled thoughts: Elizabeth Howard West

When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.

–Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills

Aside from the unfortunate use of “man” to mean “people,” what a lovely and true statement she makes.

two-wheeled thoughts: Edward Abbey on bicycles, or anything non-motorized

A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourist can in a hundred miles.

–Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he means a woman, too. I’m just relieved to see that Abbey acknowledges us two-wheeled, human-powered vehicles as part of the solution. :)

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!

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