Scott Stoll logo world traveler. A bicycle wheel and the globe symbolizes Scott's journey around the world on a bicycle.

The Top 100 Bicycle Quotes


The best and most famous bicycle quotes of all time

Riding a bicycle is the greatest metaphor for life and how to live a good life! Well… at least, I think so. That’s why I started collecting these timeless quotable quotes way back in the early 1990s.

I spent a lot of effort finding these, double-checking them and organizing them. For a time, my collection was the #1 page for bicycle quotes on the internet… until it spawned many imitators. And, I have to admit, my Bicycle Quotes Quiz went viral, and a lot of these fake quotes became mistaken for real quotes. Sorry about that. I thought it was obvious these were mashups. And, somehow, even one of my own bicycle quotes went viral. I wasn’t even trying for that, but it is an honor that it has inspired so many people.

By the way, please submit your favorite inspirational bike quote. We’ll post it here.

The #1 bicycle quote of all time

Vintage photo of Albert Einstein riding a bicycle with quotation overlayed. "Life is like riding a bicycle." Scott's favorite all-time bicycle quotes.
Life is like riding a bicycle ~ Albert Einstein

Below are two personal favorite bicycle quotes that our website helped make famous. Back in 1999, hardly anyone had heard of these quotes. Now “Life is like riding a bicycle” is probably the most famous bicycle quote of all time. Read more about these famous quotes and see how this quote has been shortened and paraphrased over time.

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

Albert Einstein, letter to his son Eduard, 1930.

I thought of that while riding my bicycle.

Albert Einstein, in reference to the Theory of Relativity.

Bicycle Quotes Quiz

We’ve given a new spin to some famous quotes by changing a few words. Can you guess the original quote and author in these bicycle quote mashups?

  • I never met a bicycle I didn’t like. ~ Answer
  • To bike, or not to bike: that is NOT a question. ~ Answer
  • Bicycles are a girl’s best friend. ~ Answer
  • Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him a bicycle. ~ Answer

More quiz questions.

New bicycle quotes in the collection

“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.” ~ . (Editor’s note: This quote seems apocryphal.)

What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds. ~ , Memory & Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress, documentary, 1990.

The time we have alone, the time we have in walking, the time we have in riding a bicycle, is the most important time for a writer. Escaping from the typewriter is part of the creative process. You have to give the subconscious time to think. Real thinking always occurs at the subconscious level. ~

Good thing riding a bicycle is as easy as riding a bicycle. ~

Marriage is a wonderful invention; but then again, so is a bicycle repair kit. ~

Over-exertion, the upright position on the wheel, and the unconscious effort to maintain one’s balance tend to produce a wearied and exhausted “bicycle face.” ~ The Literary Digest, 1895

One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle. ~

Dear God, O.k. I kept my half of the deal. Where’s the bike? ~

In down times I do things like go for a long bike ride or run. The other thing I’m doing in that quiet time is just observing. ~

All-Time Famous Bicycle Quotes

I feel that I am entitled to my share of lightheartedness and there is nothing wrong with enjoying one’s self simply, like a boy. ~

The bicycle is a curious vehicle. Its passenger is its engine. ~

If constellations had been named in the 20th century, I suppose we would see bicycles. ~

Newspapers are unable, seemingly to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. ~

Charles Schultz Bicycle Quote.

Life is like a ten-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.

Charles M. Schulz

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. ~

Falling Uphill Anniversary Edition: One man's quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle. By Scott Stoll.

I feel like an artist and my bicycle is the brush. ~

More about Scott’s bicycle ride around the world.

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off. ~

Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls. ~

As a kid I had a dream – I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bike in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it in my bed. ~

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. ~

Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain — at least in a poor country like Russia — and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. ~

Bicycle Bliss Calendar description from publisher reads: “With inspiring cycling quotes by luminaries such as H. G. Wells, Scott Stoll, and Mahatma Gandhi.”

A bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke. ~

When I started this collection of bicycle quotes, I never imagined that I would be one of the people quoted. My quote is featured for the month of February in the 2015 Bicycle Bliss Calendar. The publisher’s website description of the calendar reads: “With inspiring cycling quotes by luminaries such as H. G. Wells, Scott Stoll, and Mahatma Gandhi.” I can’t even believe my name is in that sentence! More info.

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. ~

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! ~

The bicycle is a great good. But it can turn nasty if I’m employed. ~

On my tenth birthday, a bicycle and an atlas coincided as presents and a few days later I decided to cycle to India. ~

It is the unknown around the corner that turns my wheels. ~

Mark Twain Bicycle Quote
Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live. Mark Twain, Taming the Bicycle. 1884.

Get a bicycle. You will certainly not regret it, if you live.

Mark Twain, Taming the Bicycle. 1884.

The steps of one’s progress are distinctly marked. At the end of each lesson, he knows he has acquired something, and he also knows what that something is, and likewise that it will stay with him. It is not like studying German, where you mull along, in a groping, uncertain way, for thirty years; and at last, just as you think you’ve got it, they spring the subjunctive on you, and there you are. No — and I see now, plainly enough, that the great pity about the German language is, that you can’t fall off it and hurt yourself. There is nothing like that feature to make you attend strictly to business. But I also see, by what I have learned of bicycling, that the right and only sure way to learn German is by the bicycling method. That is to say, take a grip on one villainy of it at a time, and learn it — not ease up and shirk to the next, leaving that one half learned.

Suddenly the nickel-clad horse takes the bit in its mouth and goes slanting for the curbstone defying all prayers and all your powers to change its mind — your heart stands still, your breath hangs fire, your legs forget to work. ~

Read Twain’s short story Taming the Bicycle to see the origin of these quotes and more.

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me. ~

Why should anyone steal a watch when he could steal a bicycle? ~

H.G. Wells author of The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll by H.G. Wells
The first bicycle touring author H.G. Wells

Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.

H.G. Wells

To ride a bicycle properly is very like a love affair—chiefly it is a matter of faith. Believe you do it, and the thing is done; doubt, and, for the life of you, you cannot. ~

After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow. ~

Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. ~

H.G. Wells wasn’t just a visionary when it came to time machines or men walking on the moon, he also wrote the very first book about bicycle touring, which also helped give rise to the female emancipation movement. Read The Wheels of Chance, a free ebook reprinted here for your convenience.

It would not be at all strange if history came to the conclusion that the perfection of the bicycle was the greatest incident of the nineteenth century. ~

A bicycle does get you there and more… And there is always the thin edge of danger to keep you alert and comfortably apprehensive. Dogs become dogs again and snap at your raincoat; potholes become personal. And getting there is all the fun. ~

Queen Bicycle Race Album Cover

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like.

Queen, Bicycle Race, Fat Bottomed Girls

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~

John F. Kennedy bicycle quote
John F. Kennedy

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.

John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

You never have the wind with you — either it is against you or you’re having a good day. ~

Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world. ~

The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. ~

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast. ~

Mankind has invested more than four million years of evolution in the attempt to avoid physical exertion. Now a group of backward-thinking atavists mounted on foot-powered pairs of Hula-Hoops would have us pumping our legs, gritting our teeth, and searing our lungs as though we were being chased across the Pleistocene savanna by saber-toothed tigers. Think of the hopes, the dreams, the effort, the brilliance, the pure force of will that, over the eons, has gone into the creation of the Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Bicycle riders would have us throw all this on the ash heap of history. ~

Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer.

It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.

Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer

Do you think Custer rode a bicycle? He lived during the era of the boneshaker bicycles and died 3 years before the invention of the safety bicycle.

The bicycle, the bicycle, surely should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~

Bicycles are the indicator species of a community, like shellfish in a bay. ~

Whoever invented the bicycle deserves the thanks of humanity. ~

If I can bicycle, I bicycle. ~

Be at one with the universe. If you can’t do that, at least be at one with your bike. ~

Bicycle quotes from the Women’s Suffrage and Feminist Movements

The advent of the bicycle stirred sudden and profound changes in the social life of England when even the working class could travel far, fast and cheap, and the idea of traveling for pleasure became a possibility for thousands of people for the first time. This new freedom began to weaken the rigid English class structure and it gave a powerful boost to the existing movement toward female emancipation, which H.G. Wells explores in his story, The Wheels of Chance.

Helen Keller bicycle quote
Helen Keller, deaf and blind political activist. 1880–1968.

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.

Helen Keller, deaf and blind political activist. 1880–1968

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. ~

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…the picture of free, untrammelled womanhood. ~

The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world. ~

The bicycle will accomplish more for women’s sensible dress than all the reform movements that have ever been waged. ~

I began to feel that myself plus the bicycle equaled myself plus the world, upon whose spinning wheel we must all learn to ride, or fall into the sluiceways of oblivion and despair. That which made me succeed with the bicycle was precisely what had gained me a measure of success in life — it was the hardihood of spirit that led me to begin, the persistence of will that held me to my task, and the patience that was willing to begin again when the last stroke had failed. And so I found high moral uses in the bicycle and can commend it as a teacher without pulpit or creed. She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life. ~

I finally concluded that all failure was from a wobbling will rather than a wobbling wheel. ~

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle
An illustration of the famous quote: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

I need a man like a fish needs a bicycle.

Irina Dunn, 1970.

Variations of this quote have been around almost as long as the bicycle itself. An earlier form is: “God needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Try making a fun quote yourself. Here’s the formula: A needs B like C needs a bicycle. Send us your quote and we’ll display them here.

Bicycle quotes from the Tour de France

Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride. ~ Eddy Merckx, Tour de France winner

It never gets easier, you just go faster. ~

I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle it’s not going to be satisfying. ~

You don’t suffer, kill yourself and take the risks I take just for money. I love [bicycling]. ~

There will be a lot of complaining that today was too hard, but the winners never complain. ~

When my legs hurt, I say: “Shut up legs! Do what I tell you to do!” ~

If it hurts me, it must hurt the other ones twice as much. ~

The difference between me and Lance Armstrong is that I still have a chance to win the Tour de France. ~

Crashing is part of cycling as crying is part of love. ~

NOTE: We’ve demoted all the bicycle quotes by Lance Armstrong to a secondary page.

Celebrity Bicycle Quotes

I had a substitute teacher from Ireland in the second grade that told my class during morning prayer that when she wants something — anything at all — she prays for it and promises something for it in return — and she always gets what she wants. Yeah. I’m sitting at the back of the classroom thinking: “Wow. My family can’t afford a bike.” So I went home and prayed for one, and I promised I would recite the rosary every night in exchange. Broke it. Broke that promise. But two weeks later, I got home from school to find a brand new mustang bike with a banana seat and easy rider handlebars. Yeah… My family informed that I had won a raffle that a friend of mine had entered my name in without my knowledge whatsoever. ~ , Commencement Address at the 2014 MUM Graduation.

After my training wheels, my first real bike was a Schwinn, and my first time out, I rode down a hill, didn’t know how to stop, and ran right into a tree. So, that was a nice experience… like realizing, oh, there are brakes! ~

Bicycling is a big part of the future. It has to be. There’s something wrong with a society that drives a car to work out in a gym. ~

Bike Quotes from Fictional Characters

Exhibit B: Another photograph. What’s missing from this picture? It’s just me WITHOUT MY BIKE! ~

When I was little, I wanted a bicycle for my birthday, but my parents got me a baseball glove. So, you know what I did? I pretended that my baseball glove was a bicycle, and I rode it to school every day. True story. ~

“Sorry, old girl,” I said to Gladys [my bicycle] in the gray dishwater light of early morning, “but I have to leave you at home.” ¶ I could see that she was disappointed, even though she managed to put on a brave face. ¶ “I need you to stay here as a decoy,” I whispered. “When they see you leaning against the greenhouse, they’ll think I’m still in bed.” ¶ Gladys brightened considerably at the thought of a conspiracy…. ¶ At the corner of the garden, I turned, and mouthed the words, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” and Gladys signaled that she wouldn’t. ~

My personal favorite

This isn’t a contrived quote. I actually had this thought while reading Hemingway during my bicycle travels.

Bicycle quote by Scott Stoll: I feel like an artist and my bicycle is the brush. One of many favorite bicycle quotes.
This is the bicycle quote I wish I were famous for instead of this quote.

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