So after spending a few hours searching and reading the forums about spinning vs mashing I realized I was firmly on the mashing side of things. Over the 170 some odd miles since I bought my bike I've really struggled to get my average crusing speed over 15mph. So today I got some free time and decided to see what I could do. I set out on my usual paved trail and since I don't have a computer with a cadence measure I concentrated on keeping my pedal stroke smooth, even, and faster than I would normally work it. It didn't take long for me to discover what bouncing meant and I quickly learned to keep myself one gear or so ahead of the bounce and downshift when I felt my cadence slow.
Low and behold, my average cruising speed stayed between 16 & 18 MPH! The whole 15 mile ride was faster and easier than I have had before. I never thought I could be in a lower gear and maintain, or even increase my speed going up hills and into the wind.
Now as for the d**n you bike forums part. I thought I was set on cycle equipment for a while but I see I'm going to need a cyclocomputer that does cadence until I can build the muscle memory to do it without thought.
Thanks bf for teaching me that mashing is not the way to ride! This is going to make me want to ride more and, hopefully, make it faster to loose the extra weight I'm carrying.