The community conciously made a decision, long before the time in which the story takes place, to build its society upon the principle and practice of Sameness. This decision resulted in many changes and restrictions upon the lives of all citizens of the community.
Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.
Computers for use by individuals would allow for an uncontrollable variety and difference between persons. Computers would give varied types of experiences and a wide range of knowledge, to say nothing of creating unusual ideas or urges in some people. In order to insure the sameness of all members of the community, opportunities for non-standardized exposure or expression had to be eliminated. Therefore, computers were unacceptable.
Bicycles, rather than cars, are the means of transportation in the community. Bicycles are better for the environment, take up less space, and can be assigned to everyone at the age of nine - the age when everyone starts volunteer activities that may require a means of transportation other than walking. By giving everyone a standardized model of bike, there is no competition regarding better features of one model or another, everyone has the same capability to get from place to place, and all can be expected to obey the same rules for traffic and care of their individual bicycle.