My name is Nick and I'm completely new to cycling!
My goal is to ride a century in a couple of months; I've been working at the gym and have a workout schedule to allow me to be in shape and ready to go come Century time. However, I'm worried that if I wait too long to buy a bike that I won't be used to actual riding - I'll only be used to an air-conditioned gym. Beyond cycling a century, I also wish to tour come December (nothing too crazy, probably from Las Vegas to LA and back). I've heard (although I'm really not sure!) that road bikes do not make good tour bikes because they sacrifice durability for weight-loss.
I'm really at a stand-still. I want to buy a bike ASAP to get out there and do it. I'm a college student so finances are limited - I'm willing to spend around $200 on a bike (yes, yes... I know this is cheap). I've called the local bike stores and they all say that the most inexpensive bike is around $600 - a lot out of my price range. I've been looking on eBay and Craiglist, but since I don't know what to look for. I feel like I'm clueless and everyone else is speaking a different language. I've searched the forum and found some good resources - I just find it difficult to understand the lingo and the advice isn't always specific to my situation. I'm almost to the point where I just want to buy a GMC Denali (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...enali-bicycle/) that has been reviewed as "doable" until I have enough cash to shell out on a nice bike in a half a year. Could I possibly buy a bike and upgrade the components over time? What do you guys think I should do? Sorry if I'm all over the place - I've just got a lot of thoughts going on and not a lot of background information on bikes (though I've looked around the forum a bit!), let me know if you need more information and thanks in advance for the help and for running such a great forum too! Everyone on here seems really nice and supportive - I'm excited to get started!