Friday Notes #72 — Is Life Just Another Subscription?

There is a link between buying an expansive ebike and subscriptions like Netflix. Follow me.

Friday Notes #72 — Is Life Just Another Subscription?

I’ve been contemplating buying an electric bike for more than a year. If you read my monthly newsletter, you’ll probably remember that I’m a big fan of the Vanmoof brand from a design perspective. The problem is that the brand is affected by quality control issues and is not available in Canada. The other issue is that Vanmoof is an expensive brand. Think of Vanmoof as the Apple for electric bikes.

I recently subscribed to Bixi, a self-serve biking service in Montreal, costing 88 CAN$. The service offers two types of bikes: traditional and electric. I’ve been riding their ebike since last year to commute, and recently for my first season ride. While riding, I came across a woman on an ebike made by Moustache. It was superbly designed. I asked her a few questions, and we talked about pricing. Boy, these bikes are expansive. The bike she was riding exceeded 4500 CAN$. Ouch. It’s tempting, but the price makes me pause. This one by KBO is much cheaper, though...

On my way home, after completing my ride, which cost me a bit less than 3 CAN$ for half an hour, I started to wonder: how many rides like this do I need to do to pay the equivalent of getting a Moustache ebike? Well, with a hypothetic one hundred rides per season, I would need more than twenty-five years. The lesson here is simple: using the self-served biking service is a much less alternative to buying a brand-new ebike. Sure, the rented bike is not exactly what I’d like. I live in a busy city with many traffic lights and crowded bike trails. The only way to take advantage of an expansive ebike would be if I were living outside the city with wide-open spaces and long bike trails. It's not the case now, and I have no intention of moving out of the town.

I quickly realized that I would prefer to stay a subscriber of the self-serve biking service. This subscription is yet another service that I subscribe to in addition to my music subscription, my Netflix subscription, my cloud subscription, etc. This brings me to this thought: sometimes, I wonder if life is simply another subscription. Probably.