I probably didn't need a new thread for this but I am SO EXCITED so please forgive me.
I took all of the advice you all gave me in the earlier thread, "I'm finally buying my bike! HELP!" to my LBS and told the man there that I was overwhelmed and a little confused but I thought I wanted to start with a Giant Defy 5 in an XS. This was after I basically babbled about things for 5-10 minutes. He waited for me to shush and said, "Okay, first, take a breath." I was sort of hurt by that (no idea why) but by the end of everything, I loved the guy. He said he didn't know if an XS would fit, but he didn't have the S in stock so we'd try it. If it DIDN'T work, we'd try the women's version.
It worked. I HATED getting on it on the trainer because it felt so tall, but by the time he'd fixed everything up and explained the shifters, I asked if I could take it outside. He said sure, and I took it out on the sidewalk. I thought I was going to die. It was SO TALL still and I couldn't get my feet in the toe clips. He told me to just use them as platforms if I wanted, so I did, and I was off.
10 minutes later, I told him I was taking it home with me. He seemed really surprised. "I thought you were just shopping today!" "Well, I wasn't going to come in and pick out a bike and then just tease myself with not getting it!"
So I bought it, some water bottle holders, a floor pump (I only had a hand pump), extra tubes, levers for changing a flat, a flashing light for the back, and a really expensive pair of Cannondale socks. I was a happy camper.
Keep in mind, I am used to a VERY solid mountain bike. So this morning, I went to ride to the park - thinking I'd bus to the edge of the park and ride from there. I missed my bus, though, and it's only a few miles, so I told myself to just GO. I rode the sidewalk (I know, I know) to the edge of the park, and then realized the sidewalk from there is really in horrible shape. So, for the first time EVER, I road on the road - got to the park, played around with the shifters, did a speed test with MapMyRide (3mph increase without even using the shifters), and road the street almost the whole way home (like 3 miles).
So - while I didn't ride 234323 miles today, I am in love with this bike and the only reason I'm home is because my girlie bits hurt (not to be crude) and I was almost out of water. I may go back out tonight.
When I was at the bike store, on the trainer, the LBS guy said something like, "So you ride a bike, but you're not a cyclist yet." I thought about it, and agreed with him. Knowing how a car works (steering wheel, pedals) doesn't make you a driver. Knowing how a bike works - and even being able to make it move forward - doesn't make you a cyclist.
I felt like one today, though. Thank you all SO MUCH. I'm pretty sure my life just changed and I couldn't be more grateful.