Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
–John F. Kennedy
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.
Thanks, Pops, for this week’s two-wheeled thought. Lovely. Couldn’t have said it better!
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.
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.
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.
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.