Obvious benefits

• Health.
• If you trade some of your car-time for bike-time, then you will obviously be less sedentary.
• Physical exercise has so many knock-on benefits (mental, emotional, social, etc.). I won’t spend any more time enumerating them.
• Finances.
• I sold my car a few years ago. I found that a bike sufficed for getting around Madison—even in winter.
• This has reduced my expenses considerably. I no longer have to think about (i) fuel, (ii) car insurance, (iii) maintenance, or (iv) car payments. Easily thousands of dollars per year.
• I spend maybe \$50 per year on bike maintenance. Inner tubes, lubricant, and miscellaneous parts.

My bicycle constrains me in useful ways

• I always try to live within biking distance of work. I want my commute to be short and invigorating—not long and draining.
• I run fewer superfluous errands.
• My choices tend to be more environmentally friendly.
• The 5-7-5 structure of a haiku constrains the poet; a LASSO penalty constrains the regressor; and a bicycle constrains me.

• Cars put a glass screen between you and the world.
• A bicycle immerses you in the sights, sounds, and smells of your environment.
• A bike exposes you to the elements—a good thing in moderate doses.

Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance

• Learning some simple bicycle maintenance can be very enriching.
• A bicycle is simple enough that you can easily learn how to maintain it. You still get a sense of accomplishment from fixing it up, though.
• In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the author talks about the “Dionysian” and “Appollonian” perspectives on motorcycle maintenance (among other things). The same insights apply to bicycle maintenance.
• We can switch between Dionysian and Appollonian perspectives while we’re riding and fixing our bike, respectively.

Some interesting examples of bike-centric cultures

• Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin
• These places are economically strong and culturally interesting.
• They are extremely accessible by bicycle. The people who live in these places ride their bikes all the time, for all sorts of reasons.
• Their quality of life is visible in their faces – I don’t remember seeing stressed out or angry people on the bike paths of Amsterdam. (They were all quite fit, too.)

$$\blacksquare$$