*DISCLAIMER* - I'm a total newbie (and quite a talker) so bear with me.
My boyfriend bought me a gently used MTB from his favorite bike store. I have decided that commuting to work by bike would do me a lot of good (physically and financially), even if it's only once a week to start. My planned route is abt 13 miles one way on busy roads with wide sholders. I plan to make trial runs on the weekends so I can see what routes work best for me.
I have been lurking on the boards for awhile now and I have learned a great deal from your opinions and experiences. There is so much information on special clothing and gear and parts and types of bikes and nutrition, etc - I am totally overwhelmed! I have a bike, a helmet, a handlebar bag, a seat bag, an extra tube, a multi-tool thingie, a frame pump, and a tire guage. My next purchase will probably be lighting. I feel like I am missing so much... and money is very tight (hence the incentive to ride my bike to work) so I cannot go crazy buying a bunch of gear / clothes right now. Should I make sure I outfit myself and my bike with the proper clothing and equipment first or can I make it using what I have? Is there anyone who bikes with only the bare essentials like me?
I'm so excited to get started but I feel like I need to take a commuting 101 course first!