1. Every single person can—Let’s not overgeneralize. I know some people who cannot get up on two wheels due to physical disability. Others can physically ride but practically can make bicycling part of their daily lives because they can’t afford a reliable bike, or they have no place to store a bike securely, or they can’t safely ride because their town is run by car-obsessed nitwits who don’t look out for bikes when they are driving or designing streets. I’ll ride almost anywhere, but I dig if you have concerns that keep you out of the saddle.
3. fall in love with bicycling—I studied math because I love math. But when I taught math, I told students I didn’t expect them share my love of math; I just wanted them to understand it enough to pass the class and use it for their needs, be they practical or recreational. Likewise French, pasta, and basic carpentry: you don’t have to love them, but being able to speak/cook/do a little of each can be useful and fun. Bicycling can provoke love, but I don’t expect love of everyone who puts a bicycle to use.
4. More than anyone else, bicyclists are the ones…. There’s the big problem. Riding a bicycle is neither exceptionally (more than) nor exclusively (the ones) patriotic or virtuous. Jazz musicians show us what freedom and liberty look like. So do sculptors and poets. So do long-distance runners.
We need to enjoy our hobbies without conceptualizing them as marks of moral distinction or superiority. You aren’t less of an American than I just because you exercise or travel by different means than two leg-powered wheels. Sometimes a hobby doesn’t signal any virtue; sometimes hobbyists are just having fun. The fun I have on a bicycle is sufficient reward in itself, without having to tear down folks who don’t get on a bicycle, don’t like getting on a bicycle, or get on other toys to divert and transport themselves.
The phrase More than anyone else, bicyclists are the ones… seeks to affirm those act like me and de-affirm those who act differently. We need to learn to be happy in ourselves and in our differences. We don’t need everyone else to affirm our choices by conforming with our actions. If you have to de-affirm others, overtly or subtly, to enjoy your pursuits, then you aren’t really enjoying yourself.