I want to start commuting to work ( 7 miles one way ), but I'm not sure it's the best idea to start now. I'd like to describe my situation and get your input on some questions I have.
I live in Rochester, NY and the winter here is pretty miserable.
I have a car, so I don't expect to ride my bike to work every day (for example, if it's raining). Right now, I just want to ride my bike to work
to get some exercise, spend some time outside and because it's fun. I work all day in a lab with no windows and it gets pretty gloomy!
I don't plan to carry a lot of things to and from work (computer, documents, etc). If I know I will have to take a bunch of stuff home, I would probably just drive.
I'm not in terrible shape (5'7 155lbs).
ABOUT MY COMMUTE:
As I mentioned, it's 7 or 7.5 miles one way, depending on the route. The route I was going to try first is mostly down a paved jogging/bike trail along the river. The second half is along a two-lane road (also along a river) with very little traffic. There is an alternate route where the second half is down a paved bike trail that was recently built, but it's a bit longer and less scenic.
BIKES I AM CONSIDERING:
I was looking at some hybrids, like the Cannondale Quick 5, Trek 7.3 FX and Specialized Sirrus. They're all quite expensive for my stipend, but I get the impression from reading these forums the last week or so, that saving up an extra hundred or two could make a big difference (for example, in upgrading to the 7.3 FX).
Is there a good time to get a new bike? Buying skis in the summer, that sort of thing?
Also, I really don't think commuting 14 miles in Rochester Winter is gonna be a good time. It gets dark way too early and it's crappy all around.
Should I wait and try to get a bike in the spring or should I try and get one now?
I appreciate any feedback you might have!