Melancholy is Incompatible With Bicycling

People who commute by bike are the happiest.

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“Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling.” – James E. Starrs, editor, The Literary Cyclist

A study by Oliver Smith and Nohad Toulan of Portland State University published in 2013 has confirmed what many writers, thinkers, and daily riders have known for a long time: People who commute by bike are the happiest.


  • Tim

    I used to cycle very regularly here in Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately, the dangers and stress of cycling in Toronto gradually overwhelmed me. I often arrived at work stressed and angry. I have largely given up cycling, though I support it heartily. Instead, I travel to work by transit with my nose in a book.

  • Marcus

    lazy journalism. I’m as pro-bike/anti-car as one can get at the same time there are times i wish i had a car. Like when i’m sick and have no food in house and its 30 degrees and raining outside. Times where i get fustrated with the lack of bicycle infastructure even in one the friendiest cities for bikes in the US. Yes its true that exercise makes people feel better- but thats ANY exercise not just biking. I could argue that people w/o cars in bad weather cites (esp. ones with poor mass transit) are more isolated. Its too simple to say biking=happiness

  • Anusia

    I fully agree. I only got a bike two years ago and cycle everywhere now after conquering my fear of sharing the miniscule bike lane with Dublin bus and taxi drivers. But swapping the bus for the bike has improved my life so much in so many ways. All hail two-wheels!

  • Rainy season is here

    I’m not sure why the lady in the picture is in her summer dress. I’m already biking to work in my full gore-tex.

  • teddy

    I am most definitely happier on my bike than almost anywhere else.

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