I found this site about a year ago. Quickly motivated me to return to the bike...bought a new Trek 7.3 FX. I listened to people say "you may as well just get a road bike, you're going to love the speed". I went ahead with the hybrid and started out strong. Inevitably I started to want a roadie as predicted. I already had invested in SPD pedals and shoes, biking shorts, gloves, helmet...I was on the way. In July I purchased a high dollar carbon roadie.....and rode. My distances went up and the exercise was nice. In the meantime I was at the gym on the stationary bike and logging miles on the treadmill too. I absorbed all the info the magazines offered, watched nearly every minute of "LeTour" and even had a great time in Missouri watching the final stages of the ToM with the family.
So, off-season was all gym work...maintained weight loss. Two weeks ago it all came to a halt. My good friend and neighbor was tragically taken when hit by a car training(running) for the Indy Mini Marathon. He was running on the exact road that I always took on my long rides. I know accidents happen...and you can't fight fate....I've run through all that. But I'm still at the point that as much as I enjoy the roadie, I'll never love it enough to feel good about the car vs. human confrontation. I know I'm still reluctant because the incident is so fresh...and incredibly hard to take, but every time I think about the potential risk vs. reward of riding on public highways, I want to have nothing to do with a road bike again.
So that leads me to this......I still run and ride at the gym, but miss the outdoor experience that the bike offered. I've made up my mind..I'm selling the roadie and will not quit entirely. I have the great fortune of living near miles of bike/walking paths 15 minutes from my home. I have only seen a couple roadies on these paths as they tend to have just enough other traffic on them that a clipped in road bike just isn't practical. I want to supplement my gym workouts and have been looking at hybrids again, but to be quite honest, am not all that fired up to have to get "dressed up" to ride if I want. I think I've had it with roadie seats, clip pedals and geometry issues and want to ride a bike for fun again...sometimes spontaneously.
I've looked at hard tail mountain bikes..but the tires don't lend themselves as well to bike paths. I've looked at comfort bikes(like the LIme) but I'm still pretty active and those seem more "cruiseriffic" to me. Has anyone found themselves in a similar situation? I'll be honest, I want to be able to leave work, go to the park, unload the bike and ride..no padded shorts or special gear. That said, I'm still not wanting a 99.00 department store bike. I've looked into the Trek SU2 and the Cannondale Bad Boy. I think I'm better off with the comfort of 26" tires rather than 700's, but I don't think suspended mountain bikes are the answer either.
Thanks for the patience, and I look forward to any help you have.