Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's All Downhill From Here

Thanks to the fine obsessive-compulsive cyclists at, we now have this near-exhaustive list of bicycle quotes. Feel free to take and use whatever you'd like:

"It never gets easier, you just go faster." -- Greg Lemond

"Hills make you stronger, head wind makes you mean." -- Unknown

"Pain is weakness leaving the body." -- Every coach in America

"Pain is donuts leaving the body." -- Unknown

"We find in biking the fullfilment of an antique instinct: vagabondage" -- Maurice Barres (translated from French)

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race." -- H.G. Wells

Cats don't like riding on a matter how much duct tape you use." -- Unknown

"Do these shorts make my butt look fast?" -- Unknown

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving" -- Albert Einstein

"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live." -- Mark Twain

"My witness is the empty sky." -- Jack Kerouac

"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

"This is not Disneyland, or Hollywood. I'll give you an example: I've read that I flew up the hills and mountains of France. But you don't fly up a hill. You struggle slowly and painfully up a hill, and maybe, if you work very hard, you get to the top ahead of everybody else." -- Lance Armstrong

"To be a cyclist is to be a student of cycling's core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. Without pain, there's no adversity. Without adversity, no challenge. Without challenge, no improvement. No improvement, no sense of accomplishment and no deep-down joy. Might as well be playing Tiddly-Winks." -- Scott Martin

"The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon." -- Bill Strickland

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

"Ride to eat, eat to live, live to ride." -- Unknown

"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

"I'm a cyclist not simply in the sense that I ride a bike, but in the sense that some people are socialists or Christian fundamentalists or ethical realists - that is, cycling is my ideology, a system of thought based on purity and economy of motion, kindness to the environment and drop handlebars, and I want to convert others." -- Journalist Robert Hanks

And finally...

Cyclists are the biggest liars, sandbaggers and secret trainers around. They'll say anything to soften you up for the kill. Don't let this happen to you. Study this handy rider's phrase book to find out what your riding buddies really mean when they say:

"I'm out of shape."
Translation: "I ride 400 miles a week and haven't missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate."

"I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape."
Translation: "I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering. I will win the sprint if I have to force you into a pine tree. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seat post, and spray energy drink in your eyes."

"I'm on my beater bike."
Translation: "I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using Titanium blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce."

"It's not that hilly."
Translation: "This climb lasts longer than a presidential campaign. Be careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over -- backward. You're lowest gear is 22x30? Here's the name of my knee surgeon."

"This is a no-drop, fun and flowy trail."
Translation: "I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-and-rescue dogs."

"It's not that far."
Translation: "Bring your passport."

"Its all downhill from here."
Translation: "There are still several hills so steep and long that Lance Armstrong himself would blow up and beg for mercy. The ONLY way to get back to the start is to go over those hills."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teh funny.

But where's a quote by Howard himself?

6:12 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

Cyclists have often referred to downhills as the "payback" after a hard climb. Howard, while wheezing his way up a difficult climb, was once heard muttering, "earning payback's a bitch."

11:36 AM, December 02, 2006  

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