Holland has no monopoly on Layard's big seven -- family relationships,
financial situation, work, community and friends, health, personal
freedom, and personal values -- factors he claims can account for much of
Here's why the Dutch norm of bicycling everywhere creates more
Exercise makes people's bodies feel good.
Exercise lifts people's spirits.
Bikers are not anonymous the way drivers are; hence their traffic
interactions are much more civil.
Riding a bike instead of a Hummer to work is just one example of the
general Dutch aversion to flaunting wealth--the struggle to keep up with
(or better) your neighbors creates much unhappiness in many cultures.
Almost running over clueless American tourists who will go home and
blog about you gets your pulses racing.
In that last area, Dutch
bicycles have just made me happy as well.