Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on Benefits of Cycling, 1896

The usual quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Scientific American 1896 is given as:
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.
But did he have more to say? Yes he did.

The rest of what he had to say:
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.
This quote from the physician Conan Doyle was in the spirit of this period to find medical doctors who would endorse the health benefits of cycling, or at least not condemn it. That he was a famous and clever writer was presumably a bonus.

Scientific American, January 18, 1896, Cycling column, pt 1
Cycling Notes column in Scientific American issue of January 18, 1896 with full "Dr. Conan Doyle" quote in middle.

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