I tell them that some folks are born with a specific gene makes them want to ride a motorcycle. The same gene also makes them want to enjoy the finer foods and drinks of the world, to travel and live every minute to it's fullest.
There are those that in their life, do all of that, but do not have the gene. They always feel a bit unsure of what they are doing , and often end up selling the motorcycle and staying at home on the couch watching TV.
Some , because of various reasons , (like peer group pressure), continue to ride , but the "unsureness" they feel ends up making them so uncomfortable riding that they crash , or find excuses not to ride.
Those that do have the gene, become hopelessly addicted to riding a bike, even if their means prevents them from "seeing the world" or "living every minute to it's fullest." But Riding their bike becomes one of their most treasured pleasures, much like good food, or good sex. They are literaly happier on their bike than they are in most other places. They spend time and money making sure the bike is always ready and affords them the comforts they desire from it.
So, when you ask me Why do I ride a bike? I'd have to say because I have to, I AM hopelessly addicted to it. The thrill of speed, the Zen like oneness of being with my machine, and the sheer fun of it are just added bonuses really. It's just a part of my life like eating and sleeping now. I couldn't quit if I tried.
And yes, because you had to ask, it is obvious you are not one of us, and may never understand fully what it means.
You may counter with "how dangerous" riding a bike is, and you are right, they do not offer the protection of a big metal cage. But we can all die anytime for a multitude of reasons.
Think about this, that oncoming car only has to move 2 feet over the yellow line at the wrong time and your dead..even if your driving a car. You can't let fear of death overtake your life.
Those that ride motorcycles and are smart...do try to hedge the odds by wearing good gear, and getting good training. Most long time riders are 100% more aware of their surroundings when they are on the road as opposed to your average person in a car. We realize the inheirent dangers and take steps to avoid them.
So, I ride because I believe there is no more enjoyable way to travel than on a motorcyle.