Greetings from Dayton. I just found this website. I am currently riding a Nishiki road bike from approximately 1973 that I got at a friend's estate auction a little over a year ago for only $8.00. I first took off the old toe clips because on my bike route, they are more of a hazard than an advantage. I found that it is quite a bit faster than the Mongoose hybrid I rode starting the spring of '01. I commute 12.5 miles each way. Usually it is dark when I leave for work, so I immediately outfitted the bike with reflective tape and transferred the headlight. A few months later, the rear tire started to bulge so I replaced it with a cheapie $10.00 reflective tire from Wal-Mart (cost more than the bike!). I assume the original bike color was copper, but it has weathered to an ugly brown, perfect for discouraging theft. I added fenders made of the tire I replaced. (they won't rattle, rust, bend or break) They are kind of heavy and took a lot of time to engineer and fit to the bike, but they work well.
I will be 60 the end of January and have been riding bikes on roads for nearly 50 years. I have bike commuted off & on ever since the '60s. Mostly because I need exercise, but I enjoy it, it also saves gas, does not pollute, is cheaper than driving and faster than walking. I avoid riding when it rains or snows (but sometimes I get caught in foul weather!) because of heavy traffic on my route. People say I am nuts for riding in the winter, but I seem to have survived sub zero temps and ugly weather without any permanent damage. The only permanent damage due to biking that I ever had was the first day (perfect weather) that I rode my hybrid after quite a few years on mountain bikes. I was doing over 20 mph, sprinting for a green light, and it changed. I put on the brakes and did the only endo I ever was involved in, coming down on my right shoulder as I tried to tuck & roll. I suffered a 5th degree AC separation, which still bothers me quite a bit, sometimes, but I was only off the bike for about 2 weeks. None of the other bikes I ever owned tended to do endos, but I always had to be especially careful with that bike! Many times, before getting the Nishiki, I had to back off the front brake when I felt the rear start to come up!
I enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities from backpacking to rockhounding to fishing to rock climbing to berry picking. A couple weeks ago, I backpacked 110 miles on the Appalachian Trail from the northern part of Shenandoah National Park to the Pennsylvania border over the course of 7 days. I am especially interested in herpetology and am starting to get into digital photography. I work with Boy Scouts as a merit badge counselor and am a also leader in AWANA clubs. I make a living as a safety professional, but I am really a zoologist/naturalist.