Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
~H.G. Wells, novelist
There is a small race about to start in France, and it will be the cause of many a sleepless night for many of us without a doubt. And for those of us here in Australia, the form and maturity of one Richie Porte will also make us a little more attached to the outcome!
The imminent Grand Depart of La Grand Boucle has the effect of bringing our attention and focus right back to the bike and the simple pleasure it affords. I was reflecting on this as I rode in 'Civvies' (Cafe du Cycliste city wear of course) to a meeting at a local cafe, trading the car for bike and backpack. With attention varying between the bike path, excitement about the upcoming Tour de France and sheer pleasure at riding between meetings rather than driving, I was reminded of just how much cycling has to offer and how apt the quote from H.G. Wells is. Ride to race, ride to work, ride to eat (!lol), tri, bmx, cx, road, track or MTB - it's all just rather wonderful.
Some of the best times and best memories I have come from the adventures on the bike or supporting friends and teammates on a ride. One example is the two day adventure we did last year, climbing the seven peaks challenge in Victoria in just two days. With a lot of driving in between and a memorable midnight finish on Mt Buffalo on day one, it was full on but amazing fun also with a great group of friends!
And because there are some great people who say it rather better than me, here are some more apt quotes that we thought just about summed things up.
Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.
~Mark Twain, American humorist
“Ride as much or as little, as long or as short as you feel. But ride” – Eddy Merckx
“Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades” – Eddy Merckx
“When my legs hurt, I say: “Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!” – Jens Voigt
“It never gets easier, you just get faster” – Greg LeMond
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike” – John F Kennedy
“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr K.K. Doty
“A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke” – Scott Stoll
“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
“To me, it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world” – Mark Cavendish
“I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days” – Unknown
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking” – Arthur Conan Doyle
“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” – Ernest Hemingway
“In Mendrisio I felt it – the exhilaration of what the bike has to offer. It’s a simple machine that conjures a vast mix of emotions. It can evoke the senses and raise the spirits of people who watch. For those who ride it can seem like the perfect vehicle for transport. For those who race, there’s no better sensation than being on top of your gear making mountains feel like flat roads. Cycling throws up plenty of obstacles, unknown territory, high speed split-second considerations. Where to next? What’s around the next corner? Who cares? You’re flyin’!” Cadel Evans on winning the World Championships
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