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Dutch couple share bicycle, a common sight in Amsterdam.
Dutch couple share bicycle, a common sight in Amsterdam.

When Adults Cycle, the World Shouldn't Despair

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride, " said President John F. Kennedy. "Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be," says Bill Nye, the science guy, adding, "There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym."

Since launching ePEDALER, I have been devoting a lot more of my reading time focused on cycling; especially its history and its politics. Of particular interest right at the moment is the amazing story of Amsterdam, the city of bicycles ; why is it the Dutch, almost alone in the world, resisted the temptation to automobilize after a brief global infatuation with the bicycle in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

After an abortive 20-year-long detour into mass motoring between 1955-1975 was brought to a screeching halt by the 1973 OPEC oil embargo - Holland was the second country after the Unites States to have oil shipments cut-off by the cartel - the Dutch gradually rekindled their love affair with the bicycle and haven't looked back since.

Over the course of my reading, I came across various interesting quotes, but I never copied them down. Fortunately, I didn't have to: the Bicycle Trax blog did it for me, capturing what he/she regards as the Top Ten. Here they are. Enjoy.

  •  “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”~H.G. Wells

  • “Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to workout in a gym.” ~Bill Nye the Science Guy

    • “The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets.”~Christopher Morley

    • “Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” ~James E. Starrs

    • “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” ~Ernest Hemingway

    • “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” ~John F. Kennedy

    • “Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.” ~H.G. Wells  

    • “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

    • “If constellations had been named in the 20th century, I suppose we would see bicycles.” ~Professor Carl Sagan

    • “The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind.”~William Saroyan, Nobel prize winner

  • SOURCES: theargonauts.com/bicycle-quotes/ and www.quotegarden.com/bicycling.html

    Posted By: Bill Moore [18-Jun-2014]

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