“I’ve found in composing that being simple and profound — having in-depthness in your music — is the most difficult thing to do. Anybody can write a whole lot of notes, which may or may not say something… But why make it complicated for the musicians to play? Why make it difficult for the listeners to hear?”
“Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living! I take exercise every afternoon that way. O — to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it (lie doesn’t hit it at all) 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.”
-Jack London, in The Letters of Jack London
“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 in the world. I lived for that bike. Most kids left their bikes in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it by 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.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle, in an 1896 article for Scientific American
“When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart.”
“When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.”
“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.”
-Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green
“Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.”-Madeleine L’Engle
It was my first term and I was walking home alone across the village green after school when suddenly one of the senior twelve-year-old boys came riding full speed down the road on his bicycle about twenty yards away from me. The road was on a hill and the boy was going down the slope, and as he flashed by he started backpedalling very quickly so that the free-wheeling mechanism of his bike made a loud whirring sound. At the same time, he took his hands off the handlebars and folded them casually across this chest. I stopped dead and stared after him. How wonderful he was! How swift and brave and graceful in his long trousers with bicycle-clips around them and his scarlet school cap at a jaunty angle on his head! One day, I told myself, one glorious day I will have a bike like that and I will wear long trousers with bicycle-clips and my school cap will sit jaunty on my head and I will go whizzing down the hill pedalling [sic] backwards with no hands on the handlebars!
I promise you that if somebody had caught me by the shoulder at that moment and said to me, “What is your greatest wish in life, little boy? What is your absolute ambition? To be a doctor? A fine musician? A painter? A writer? Or the Lord Chancellor?” I would have answered without hesitation that my only ambition, my hope, my longing was to have a bike like that and to go whizzing down the hill with no hands on the handlebars.
-Roald Dahl, Boy