A Cheap Bicycle Is Better Than A Dead Horse & More Bicycle Proverbs

There’s nothing better than a good, old-fashioned bicycle proverb.

And so, here are several from the newspapers of 1896, back when newspapers were the social media of the day. Some of these silly cycling proverbs rhyme and several still ring true more than a century later.

Quickly to bike and quickly to spin … Makes a man tired, perspiring and thin.

Never run over a magistrate; the pleasure is not worth the cost.

A bike between the legs is worth two in the store.

A wise man feareth and departeth crowded streets, but the fool rideth and is confident [It’s funeth to add an “eth” to the end of words].

A stone goes before a fall.

A cheap bicycle is better than a dead horse.

Mount in haste and dust you will taste.

The fool who rides without a brake … Is apt his collar-bone to shake

Wise men make bicycles, and fools fall off them.

If wishes were bicycles beggars would scorch.

He who always rides by himself has his bicycle used by a fool.

Those who ride a bike of the same make … Call all other kinds a fake.

There is but one good bicycle, and every man thinks he hath it.

Experience is the best spoke in your wheel.

A yell is as good as a nod to a deaf bicyclist.

A bad rider always finds fault with his bicycle.

The man who tests his bicycle by riding on the curbstone will shortly have no bicycle to test.

A seat unsound soon finds the ground.

If at first you don’t succeed, fall, fall again.

A man without a bicycle is a bow without an arrow.

He that rides fast will not ride long.

Women, and wheelwomen were the butt of many proverbs and jokes back then. Here are a few examples:

It is better to ride alone on a “boneshaker” than with a bawling woman on a tandem.

One man can set a beginner on a bicycle but ten can’t keep her there.

It is the glory of women to conceal their ankles; but the honor of men is to display their legs.

nterested in cycling history? There’s plenty more in my eBook: The Boy With No Legs Who Rode Like the Wind. Here’s the link to my story about it and here’s the etsy link to get the book.


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