It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.
This is why I have had to dispel the common misconception on many occasions that Iowa is flat. Of course, most people that said this to me had never been to Iowa but assumed that, being near Indiana and Illinois, it was as flat as the rest of the middle west. I am so glad I learned the hard way, and fun way, that Iowa is, in fact, a state of rolling hills.
This is also why I want to Ride The Rockies with Joyce next summer. We all know that the state of Colorado is either as flat as Kansas or as steep and mountainous as they come. Well, "Ride The Rockies" implies that you'll be in the mountainous part which I've driven through and skied many times. But I want to learn the contours of the land better, to sweat and coast through the mountain ranges. And I just want to spend a week with Joyce. If we could survive Potters Hill, and the rest of "Little Switzerland", we can call ourselves mildly prepared for some rocky mountain range bike riding.