I've spent most of my adult life on two wheels, whether commuting, racing or just plain riding. I didn't own a car until I was 25 years old and even then I still rode my bike to and from work after I'd bought the thing.
Heck, nowadays I still commute by bicycle most of the week, nearly 20 years after buying that first car. Old habits die hard.
When I saw this quote from Brian Mulder about bikepacking around South America, it summed up what I've always felt about riding a bike as a means of transportation but could never adequately articulate:
Travelling on two wheels makes you vulnerable in a very good way. People aren't threatened when you arrive in their town, as they intuitively understand the dedication it took to get there. They're always fascinated by your journey – especially when you're a gringo on a fat bike. The bike offers you an immediate doorway to a deeper connection with people that is hard to find otherwise. And stripping your belongings down to the essentials makes you appreciate how little we need and how one's sense of happiness and self has nothing to do with the accumulation of things.