Recently, I had a non-bike commuter tell me he admired my boldness in riding to work. I didn’t reply, but I thought; “there’s nothing bold about bike commuting.” Strictly speaking, that isn’t necessarily true. It IS bold to bike commute if you do not know how to operate your bike safely in the traffic and physical environment along your route. In this case, traffic includes motor and non-motor traffic. The physical environment includes the weather and surface conditions, as I was reminded to my chagrin when I “discovered” a new construction trench on the way to work. Otherwise, on most days, you discover your excitement from little things, such as the local kids waving as you go by.
I’d rather just leave it at cycling is fun and safe! It is, however, a lot safer when you learn and follow the simple rules, just as swimming is a lot safer when you pass that first swimming class and are able to get across the pool without water wings. IMO, bike facilities can be nice, just as water flotation devices can be, but neither should EVER be an excuse for failing to learn how to get around generally, and to actually do so, nor should those pink floaties serve as an excuse for not learning to swim.