I've been riding for about 10 months and I've put about 2500 miles on my basic (KHS Flite 220) steel touring bike, which is not bad considering that there were no miles between Thanksgiving and mid-March (I'm not a winter rider).
Now I ride about 100-120 miles/week, with average speeds of 16-17 MPH (with toeclips, no clipless pedals yet), including about 1 "B" ride/week with the local club. I'm beginning to get really envious of the beautiful hardware my fellow club riders have.
So, you know what's coming, right? I'm thinking about spending a bunch of money for something I don't really need. My current one is totally adequate. I could just upgrade to clipless and get quite a boost. And my daughter will go to college in 5 years, so I should be frugal. (Yes, I'm at the very young end of 50+)
If I do take the plunge, I don't know how much of a step up would be right. There's no way I'd pay for (or even really appreciate) a first class full-carbon bike. But I was in a local shop over the weekend, panting over a Trek 2.1 compact (Al frame, C forks and seat stay, Shimano 105 shifters and derailleurs). Would that be reasonable, I ask?
I invite any and all advice. Be sensible and save my money? If not, how much "bike" does someone like me need?