When you see someone riding a bicycle, don't curse them for being dangerous to your driving or a vexation to your pedestrian sensibilities. Rather, bless and protect them, because they are actually toiling for the health of the planet and thereby your longevity.
They are filters, factories on legs, taking in the toxins from the air, storing them in their fat and breathing out desperately needed carbon dioxide to feed the trees. Bless them, and be that much more careful with them.
They sit atop the original clean machine. I call the bike a "mobile re-router' because of the way it harnesses and redirects human motion into horizontal thrust. Your legs might be pushing downward, but through the genius of pedal, pulley, gear and wheel, that energy is absorbed and re-routed into forward lateral spin. Such harmonious and purposeful connectivity!
The bike without a rider is just a chassis. Only when its fuel-cell/motor/rider is in place does it become a transportation machine. The spoked ferrier is never burdened by the extra weight of the energy it must use to propel itself, because the passenger is the power source - transforming food, air and water into mobility. Not only a carrier of beings and groceries, the heart-and-lung-revving bicycle serves as antidepressant (pedal Prozac) and obesity warrior as it goes.
My favourite part as a rider, though, is the bike's easy ability to exploit other forms of energy wherever they are on offer.
A hill allows the minimalist machine to take advantage of gravity waves so efficiently that I'm not only carried, whooping, hair streaming out behind, for free to the bottom of the hill, but lifted halfway up the other side by the excess stored energy.
And then there's the wind that turns me into a kind of a sail. What a rush when my back becomes the transmission point between air current and road.
Or better yet, when I feel the great force of the sun on my shoulders - for light, as physics tells us, can be formed of particles, and therefore every photon impact, even those from the distant stars, gives me an extra little push as I roll ever onward.
Voyaging in and out between stalled and idling cars, I am not just a cyclist. I am a star sailor.