I've been lurking on these boards for a few weeks and gathering bits and pieces of useful advice and just plain good stories. What a great forum this is! I'm delighted to see this many dedicated riders sharing what they know, and I hope to contribute what little I can.
At any rate, I figured it's about time for me to at least say hello. I've been riding off and on for a long time but really got dedicated only about four years ago, when I picked up an inexpensive road bike to train for our local MS 150. Four MS 150s and a few other t-shirt rides later, and I'm upgraded to a good quality titanium road bike, having decided that I've made a sufficient commitment to justify that kind of expense.
I'm mostly just a recreational rider. I really wish it were possible to do more riding as part of my commute and during the week, but I live in Houston--the off and on smog capital of the nation--and it's more than a little bike unfriendly, at least within the city limits. There are good places to ride, but, ironically, you have to drive a while to get there.
Anyway, look forward to reading more of the wisdom of regular posters. There seems to be plenty of it.