Anyhow, I was reading David B. Perry’s Bike Cult when I came across the following: a Zen master asks five students why they ride their bikes. The first says he is riding to transport a bag of potatoes. The second says he enjoys the scenery when he rides. The third likes to recite a mantra while riding. The fourth feels a sense of "harmony" when riding. The master finds all these answers acceptable, but he is most pleased with the fifth, who says, "'I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.'" I take this to mean the activity itself is inherently worthwhile, and no external justification is necessary.
Bike Cult is a marvelous book, full of history and lore--an encyclopedic look at the sport (defining that term broadly), from p-fars to recumbents to Greg LeMond. I highly recommend it.