National Geographic has released another report about happy people. One of the conclusions reached was that bicycling is very much a part of making people happy, I'm sure that's no surprise to any of us.
The Happy Place in their report was once again Denmark. It seems the Danes are more comfortable for a lot of reasons. Now some may conclude that the politics and economics of this small but successful social democracy has something to do with it, but third behind the Danes and Norway was Switzerland. The Swiss are nearly as happy in their equally successful and tiny example of limited government and free enterprise. So few if any conclusions can be reached about the politics and economics except that anything can be managed on a microcosmic basis. The United States were 17th but not surprisingly China was way down the list. Lots of people ride bikes in China, very few of us in the US do.
Despite all the clamor and excitement the "all powerful bike lobby" has created in a few years, we drive our cars more and it seems that China aspires to be like us. I enjoyed the comment from a Chinese woman who said she would rather cry in her BMW than smile on her bicycle. Now that sounds like an aspiring American if I ever heard one. BMW has made huge sales increases among the social climbers in China, but they haven't learned to truly develop the art of material accumulation.
She could be happier if she planted a BMC atop her BMW and drove around to Starbucks in spandex.
Happiness seems trivial since Madison Avenue has finally admitted the car has religious status.
Acura promises to redeem our souls in their latest commercial blurb.