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John Ruskin’s Opinion

July 29, 2013


From Tit-Bits 1888 noted British author John Ruskin offered this opinion of the bicycle: 

I not only object, but am quite prepared to spend all my best “bad language” in reprobation of the bi-, tri-, and 4-5-6 or 7 cycles, and every other contrivance and invention for superseding human feet on God’s ground. To walk, to run, to leap, and to dance are virtues of the human body, and neither to stride on stilts, wriggle on wheels, or dangle on ropes, and nothing in the training of the human mind with the body will supersede the appointed God’s way of slow walking and hard working.

To which an anonymous author in The Wheel replies:

We learn that good old John Ruskin has been giving his opinion on bicycling, which he considers an abomination. All the papers have printed John’s “opinion” though it don’t amount to a jot; is of no more account, in fact, than the opinion of a Cincinnati Porker or a Texas steer on Munkacksy’s “Christ before Pilate.” Someone has suggested that if Rusky would only ride a bike instead of deride it , why he might change his opinion.

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