Hello from Durham, NC
I just found these forums right as the server move kicked in - so although I've been browsing since Sunday, I haven't been able to register until today.
I'm a larger (~270 lbs) guy, just getting back into bicycling after not biking for the better part of 15-20 years. I've been visiting my LBS often, trying out different bikes. They've been great about encouraging me to test ride any that I want to - so that's been fun.
I'm on a very tight budget - the wife would prefer I buy from Target or Wal-Mart, but nobody needs to convince me that those bikes are trash put together by people who don't really know what they're doing most of the time. I'd rather buy from the LBS and have it assembled correctly the first time, and have the ability to take it back in for tune-ups.
I'm looking mainly at the Specialized Hardrock Sport right now. I was looking at the Specialized Sirrus, but that one is still out of my price range - the Hardrock Sport is nearly $200 cheaper. Not a lot to some people, but that's a world of difference to me. (Oddly enough, the first time I tried the $499 Rockhopper, I didn't really "feel" it - but when I hopped on the Hardrock, I loved it. Maybe it's the $150 price difference... go figure!)
I know that down the road (we're talking years here...) I'll buy another bike. But for now, I feel the Hardrock will see me through the next few years while I scrimp and save and pay bills. At least I'm getting back into biking again! =)
Anyways, hello everybody. =)