This weekend, I bought a messenger bag to get me by. That was the last piece of equipment I needed before I could start commuting.
This morning, I made the 5 mile trek from my house in Overland Park, KS to my work in Kansas City, MO. I felt a little top heavy with my coat on - it was only 35 degrees - and with my computer on my back. This was mainly a problem because of my pedals. I haven't biked much the past few years, but I'm still accustomed to being able to spin. I miss clipless pedals or straps. Having my center of gravity so high and having to work a little harder on the "push" combined to make me feel a little awkward.
Anyway, this made me hasten my order for a pair of PowerGrip pedals this morning. I paid the extra $3 to get them "second day".
I also got a rear rack at a bike shop in Lawrence, KS this weekend. That, with my "milk crate"/bungee/Rube Goldberg contraption, and I'm set for grocery shopping now, as well.
I used to ride 10-20 miles per day on my road bike until about 4 years ago. My life got a little hectic, and someone made me an offer on it that I couldn't refuse. I've been without a bike since. In February, I decided to start bike commuting, and bought an old Trek 700 (year unknown, though I'd like to know), at an MS Society Bike Sale for $50. I checked it out, cleaned and greased it up. I just needed a way to carry my computer.
Thanks for all the great advice and support I've seen here.
By the way, I got my "messenger" bag at the Gap for $12.99.