I bought my first bike. After riding a bunch of road bikes and hybrids at the local bike shop, I concluded that I really need the more upright seating position and flat bars of a hybrid for now. I much prefer the look and speed potential of the drop-handled road bikes, but my immediate comfort, the limits of my current state of fitness, and brutal honesty with myself about what will really enable me to keep riding long enough for fitness cycling to become a habit won out over cool factor.
I got a 2007 Trek 7.7 FX. It seems like a road-oriented hybrid with 700x28c tires, lightweight aluminum frame with carbon forks and seat stay (if that's what you call the part that goes from down from the seat to the rear wheel), Shimano Ultegra dérailleur, Shimano 105 triple-crank. I'm not sure what kind of Shimano shifters it has; I don't see a model number on them. And the guy at the bike shop swears my 267 pounds won't break the carbon parts.
I do suspect that the single-position handle-bar may become tiresome on long rides, but I'm a long way from going on long rides, so I won't worry about that for now. Also, I plan on building another bike, probably based on a Surly LHT frame, for long rides and/or commuting and/or utility uses. Maybe I'll even try some touring at some point. (I wonder if I can carry an 8x10 camera, film holders, and a tripod on that Surly?) But I think right now that the Trek 7.7 FX will get me started on the cycling addiction, and it'll end up being my daily rider and fitness cycle, and maybe short trip group-ride bike.
I bought a helmet and some gloves and a seat bag and tubes and tools and repair stuff, and I went to a class so I could learn how to do simple cycle maintenance and fix a flat. The neatest thing I did was to get some Specialized clipon mountain bike shoes and have a set of Shimano PD-M250 SPD pedals installed on my Trek. They were a little odd feeling at first, but I liked them after spending an hour clipping in and out while riding up and down my street. They make it easy to pedal efficiently and they help me feel very secure on the bike while riding.
I mapped out a 2.5 mile course through the neighborhood. It has some very mild elevation changes but most people would probably say it is flat. Even so, I feel it when I'm going uphill, gradual or not. I'm sad to say that one 2.5 mile loop completely wears me out and makes my legs really sore. *pant* *pant* . But, I'M HAPPY, and I'm sure I'll be able to double then triple my distance before long.
Here's to cycling, fitness, and weight loss (lifts a beer)!