Why did I start riding? Well it all came down to the fact that the girl I was seeing had a sister who was seeing a guy with a bike. A Honda Elsinore 250, to be precise, and I thought it was kind've cool, and the rest is history. If you've read this site, you'll see I have had a lot of bikes, as I enjoy change. Some of them, quite frankly, have been dogs, but you need to try these things. (Now this is starting to sound like my previous love life).
Riding was always a pretty solo activity, even with a girl on the back you couldn't really talk or interact until you got to your destination. I guess I always enjoyed that. Learning martial arts was always a personal journey, and riding really complemented it. The thing I have always enjoyed was the zen aspects of riding. You are in the environment, the smells, the feelings, the movement, the noises, the temperature. You are close to your own mortality. In the moment far more than sitting behind the TV screen that is a car windscreen.
I love the way the world turns off other than the immediacy of the moment. No worries. No work pressures. Nothing but the experience and the bike. I've tried the i-pod when riding, but it's not for me.
If you've never ridden, it's hard to compare, but I imagine a lot of people doing their favourite hobby experience something similar.