When Hopes Seem Hardly Worth Having, Just Mount a Bicycle and Go For a Good Spin Down the Road

Arthur Conan Doyle? Sherlock Holmes? Diane Ackerman? Jeremy Withers? Apocryphal?

Question for Quote Investigator: Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a bicycle enthusiast. He suggested that taking a spin down the road on a bicycle would dispel feelings of discouragement and unhappiness. I do not know the precise phrasing Conan Doyle used. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Reply from Quote Investigator: In May 1895 “Demorest’s Family Magazine” of New York published a piece titled “What Are the Benefits of Bicycling?”, and a section called “Testimony of an Enthusiast” printed the following words from Arthur Conan Doyle. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:[ref] 1895 May, Demorest’s Family Magazine, Volume 31, Number 7, What Are the Benefits of Bicycling?: Testimony of an Enthusiast: Dr. A. Conan Doyle (Physician, Lecturer and Author), Quote Page 383, Column 1, W. Jennings Demorest, New York. (Google Books Full View) link [/ref]

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hopes seem hardly worth having, just mount a bicycle and go for a good spin down the road, without thought of anything but the ride you are taking.

I have myself ridden the bicycle most during my practice as a physician and during my work in letters. In the morning or the afternoon, before or after work, as the mood o’ertakes me, I mount the wheel and am off for a spin of a few miles up or down the road from my country place. I can only speak words of praise for the bicycle, for I believe that its use is commonly beneficial and not at all detrimental to health, except in the matter of beginners who overdo it.

The bicycle craze seems to me to be only in its infancy, for probably in time we shall witness the spectacle of our business men going to their offices mounted on the bicycle, instead of using the tramways.

Detailed information about this saying is available in the Quote Investigator article on the Medium website which is located here. Please follow Quote Investigator on Medium.

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