After about 5 months of occasional commuting, I finally had a chance to do a side trip. I've been a consultant for a long time and recently was hired by my client. My new employer does early Fridays in the summer like a lot of companies do now, whereas as a consultant we were always expected to work and provide coverage.
Anyway, when I left work I decided to check out a used bike for my wife up in Harlem. Unfortunately I couldn't find the store as I suspect it was actually someone's apartment. It was a listing on Craigslist. It was 5 miles out of the way and while I was up there I biked around through the Harlem streets and up to City College, then down the west side bikeway. I took the Brooklyn Bridge too, but that was a big mistake as it leaves you in the worst traffic in Brooklyn.
Altogether I had a 35 mile day on a workday. That was yesterday on my commuter and today I did 55 miles on my road bike. I think I'll wake up early tomorrow and do another 20 or so in Prospect Park so I've at least done 100+ for the weekend. Not too shabby...
And about that bike for my wife, she'd prefer a new bike, but I doubt she would ride that much. She's looking for a flat bar road bike that fits and the latest ones are more like that than the earlier ones, which seem more like skinny tire mountain bikes without much thought about how they fit. The Vita, the Quick, the FX, and the Dash from the 4 usual suspects all look good. (Giant, Trek, Spec, Cdale not in that order.)
WE've had very good luck in our house with a Vita, on our second year - about 1600 km. It fit the rider well, the 28 mm tires were a good balance between comfort and performance, a decent package for the $$$. What ever bike, make sure she participates in the process, likes the bike [color etc], and that it fits well,
If she is interested enough to come to the shop, then I'll assume she really wants to ride. At that point she can buy whatever she feels is right. I want to make sure that the shop has more than one brand. I've been to 2 that have 3 of the 4 I mentioned. Trek has their own dealer network.
I have a Dolce Vita for my daughter. It is a completely different bike from about 4 years ago. It is an all out road bike with 105 components, 700c wheels, on a tiny 44cm frame. It is very nice and I paid half the going price by buying it "used" for $500. It had never actually seen a road and looks like it never even came out of the carton. I bought it on ebay and the guy seems to buy out leftovers and sells them as used even though they are brand new. It is the best deal I ever got on ebay.