Hello from Jag in MA
I'm delighted to resume bicycling. For about 10 years in India, I used to commuter bike to school and college, first on a Raleigh DL-1 replica roadster, then a "Sport Light Roadster" from BSA that I loved. Most bikes sold in India are single speed only, so in those ten years I almost never saw a derailleur, let alone use a bike equipped with one.
My first bike stateside after a hiatus of over a decade was the world renowned Roadmaster Mt. Fury. While the cost is low, the bike is a connoiseur's delight :-). I do not know why people heap abuse on this poor bike. Yes, it is a little heavy, the ride causes one's tender parts to ache really bad, and the derailleur looks like it was someone's high school science project. But so what? It moves.
After a couple months with what is arguably one of the Western World's finest examples of craftsmanship, I went to my local bicycle shop and ordered a Raleigh C200. After two days on the bike, I love it. Various steep roads which were previously out of bounds to Mr. Roadmaster are now very accessible. It is very close in form to the BSA SLR that I once had, with flawless shifting. I still plan to use my Roadmaster, especially if I have to park it unattended, or put it on a boat en route to Martha's Vineyard, or just learn bicycle repair.
In addition to riding a bicycle, I love to read and discuss bicycles as machines. There is something very simple about a bicycle that any individual can grasp, yet it is complex enough that maintaining and repairing one requires a fair amount of skill.