So I just put the wheels down on a new ride yesterday, and I couldn't be happier with my first road bike. So I had to pop over here and shout it to the rooftops.
Here's my backstory -
After seeing rehearsal photos of myself as Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, and realizing that I was twice the size of my co-star, I decided that FATruchio wasn't exactly what Shakespeare had in mind. So I bought a recumbent stationary bike.
Then I joined my officemates in riding in the 24 hours of Booty charity ride here in Charlotte this summer. I borrowed a friend's Cannondale hybrid, and decided I liked this biking thing. So I went to Performance and bought the cheapest thing I could find, a 2006 Schwinn Voyageur for $250. Big seat for my big behind, and I started to ride. Then I started looking on craigslist for other bikes.
I found a guy who had a pair of his n' hers Townies for $450 (for both) that looked like they'd never been ridden, so I bought them for the wifey and I to ride around the neighborhood and the greenways here in town.
All the while I'm steadily losing 2 lbs./week or so. But then last weekend I realized that I didn't have a bike that could keep up with my increasing fitness and stamina level, so I decided to buy a road bike. After hitting several LBS and going back to Performance, I resigned myself to riding the Schwinn for a few months until I could save up enough scratch to buy a decent road bike.
Then I saw a listing on craigslist for a 2006 Scattante R560, with Shimano 105s, stock Alex wheels, and a wireless computer (plus two bottle cages) for $400. I met the guy to see the bike, it has 425 miles on it and is light as a feather compared to what I'd been riding. So I bought my third bike in as many months (I refuse to count my wife's Townie in my total), and yesterday afternoon I put a quick 6 miles on it through the neighborhood before it got too dark to ride safely without lights (I haven't put the lights on it yet). My neighborhood is full of short, steep hills and stop signs, but I was able to average 12 mph on the new bike, as opposed to 9.5 mph on the Scwinn. So hopefully I can get going with longer and faster rides.
As an aside, I'm now down to 218 pounds, having dropped 47 pounds since April after changing my diet and starting to exercise! A couple more and I'll have hit the big 5-0! and in a good way!