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The Most Famous & Inspirational Cycling Quotes of All Time

Put one of these cycling quotes on the wall of your trainer dungeon. Get a sick tattoo. Repeat one to yourself during your longest and toughest rides. Or make fun of them. That’s cool too.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Features

If you like cycling and bikes, you probably like hearing what other clever, talented, or famous people have to say about your favorite pastime. 

I wanted to hear words steeped in wisdom, humor, and experience. I wanted life lessons, motivational mantras, and glimpses into the soul of cycling.

To get these, I instructed one of my unpaid interns (his name is ChatGPT) to hop on Google and produce a curated collection of the most famous and inspirational cycling quotes he could find. Below are the results, plus some of my thoughts on his picks. 

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Albert Einstein

Einstein bike quote

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

The Theory of Relativity. E=MC2. All very impressive, but clearly, equating cycling to the journey of life is Einstein’s greatest contribution to science.

H.G. Wells

HG wells bike quote

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. 

Wells is the father of science fiction and his stories and ideas were often prophetic. He predicted the invention of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television, and something resembling the Internet. Perhaps that means we should keep riding bikes to prevent the human race from descending into the apocalyptic future he describes in The Time Machine.

Frances E. Willard

Frances E. Willard bike quote

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life. 

Heck yeah! Confidence on the bike can lead to confidence in life. Let’s get more women on bikes because more people need to experience this feeling, especially women. 

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle bike quote

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.

Why are bikes so good? It’s a mystery. But it seems the creator of Sherlock Holmes understood the therapeutic and uplifting nature of cycling. Perhaps cycling is the key to improving your powers of deduction and solving the toughest puzzle of them all: how many bikes do you need


Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx bike quote

Don’t buy upgrades, ride up grades. 

The secret to speed isn’t buying the latest and greatest gear, it’s putting in the work. If you love tech and buying speed, however, then it might be best to consider this quote apocryphal (it might be).  

Greg LeMond

Greg lemond bike quote

It never gets easier, you just get faster. 

This quote gets tossed around the internet all the time. Cycling does get easier as you get fitter. It gets easier to ride more, to relax on rides, to visit amazing places, and have awesome adventures. That said, if you want to perform in training or during races, the pain of pushing yourself to the limit never changes. 

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong bike quote

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. 

Oh no, a Lance quote!? It’s fun to look at what Armstrong said knowing what we know now. In a way, he hasn't quit. He laid low for a bit, and now he has one of the biggest cycling podcasts around. 

Marianne Vos

Marianne Vos bike quote

I am constantly trying to be the best version of myself on the bike. 

Vos has been at the top of the women's peloton for what seems like forever now. The constant pursuit of perfection is likely the key to her longevity. I also like that we can take this in multiple ways. We should always try to be nicer, more patient, and more open-minded versions of ourselves, especially when on the bike. 

Chris Froome

Chris Froome bike quote

The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.

A fancy version of “no pain, no gain.” Froomey specialized in training for and winning three-week Grand Tours, so he knows all about playing the long game. These are good words to remember when you’re struggling for motivation in the off-season. Great for the wall of your trainer dungeon.  

Jens Voigt

Jens Voigt bike quote

Riding a bike is like an endless Sunday afternoon.

Voigt is probably best known for his most famous quote: “Shut up, legs!” However, it’s nice to know that a racer famous for punishing himself on the bike still loves riding. We can push ourselves, but we should never forget that we ride bikes because we like them!

Sir Chris Hoy

Chris Hoy bike quote

You don't fall off unless you stop pedaling.

Kind of another version of Einstein’s quote. I like Einstein’s quote better, but I think Sir Hoy has more impressive legs.   

Miguel Indurain

Miguel Indurain bike quote

When you race, it's life. Everything that comes before or after is just waiting. 

Big Mig was definitely a very motivated man. Even amateurs can end up feeling this way too. Now that I have a family, I need to be more conscious of when I fall into this mode of thinking. It’s not healthy. 

Fausto Coppi 

Fausto Coppi bike quote

Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill. 

Heck yeah, I love it! These young kids are too darn fast. If I can't out pedal them I'll, uh... out treachery them. 

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy bike quote

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. 

I’m too young to know if Kennedy was a good President. Did he get us to the moon? Maybe. We do know that he enjoyed other… activities. The most powerful man in the free world still found joy in cycling though. So that’s neat. 

Mark Twain

Mark Twain bike quote

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

Crafty old Mark Twain. Unlike Tom Sawyer and his fence, Mr. Twain didn’t need to trick anyone into riding a bike by pretending it was fun. He knew cycling was rad and maybe a bit dangerous, but that’s what makes it so cool. 

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill bike quote

No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle. 

I imagine that Churchill was a very serious and important man with no time for faffing about. It sounds like he would make time for riding though. Go pedal for an hour, clear your head, and maybe you can lead your country through the Blitz too.

Update: jbriano in the comments informed me this quote is actually about horseback riding. My unpaid intern punked me!

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony bike quote

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.

Yeah, Susan! I’ll say it again. More women on bikes. Drop all the jerks. 

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway bike quote

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. 

My dad would argue that walking is the best way to learn the contours of a country, but I agree with Hemingway because cycling is so much cooler. Maybe I should try some bike touring? Maybe we all should?  

Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch bike quote

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.

I fear that someday this won’t be true anymore. I can already imagine future commuter E-bikes coming with built-in tablets, Apple carplay, and heated saddles. Sigh…

Charles M. Schulz 

Charlie brown bike quote

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

This sounds like one of those “we only use 10% of our brain” quotes. I’m not sure the creator of Charlie Brown and Snoopy knows how to use his gears. Or he's not trying hard enough. Or he lives somewhere completely flat. 

Emo Philips

Emo Phillips bike quote

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness. 

I hate this quote. Screw you, Emo. Bike thieves SUCK. No forgiveness for you. I hope you stub your toe every hour of every day for the rest of your life. 

George W. Bush

George Bush bike quote

When you ride a bike and you get your heart rate up and you're out, after 30 or 40 minutes, your mind tends to expand; it tends to relax.

I thought giving me a Lance quote was spicy, but Dubya? Regardless of what you think of Bush Jr., being the President is probably one of the more stressful jobs someone you can have. Maybe Dubya is on to something. Supposedly, Bush would shred so hard that the Secret Service had to recruit service members who could ride too because their guys kept getting hurt trying to keep up. 

Random T-Shirt

T-shirt bike quote

You can't be sad while riding a bicycle.

Lol, I think I’ve seen this T-shirt. I mostly agree. Unless I'm riding in the rain...

John Howard

John Howard bike quote

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

Yo. This just blew my mind. I love it. 

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