Compared to most people I come in contact with, I am much more serious about biking. And while I am not this way for the benefit of anyone else, I've noticed that my biking can have a positive effect on more casual riders.
For instance, I've been riding to my teaching job, and now one of my college students has started talking about how cool she thinks it is that she can beat the bus when she rides. (and now she is affecting the others in the class too!)
And so, the more we all ride and talk about riding and show people how cool it is, the more likely it is that one of those people we come in contact with will get their bike out of storage and spin around the block, suddenly remembering the glee that they feel while riding. Yes, indeed, glee.
So the next time you feel disrespected by drivers, pushed to the edge of an afterthought bike lane, remember that: the more we bike, the more bikers there are. Our influence is subtle but magnified by our numbers.