Mtwoodson is a place I used to live too. I liked the sound of it and have adopted it for my www identity. I'm an old guy who used to do 40 miles a day, mostly because I didn't want to spend my $$$$ on cars and gas. At the time I thought that I was cheap, but in hindsight I was apparently an ardent tree hugger. And the fact that gas is $3.00 a gallon now has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to get back on a bike.
I'm doing my research in preparation for a new road bike. Damn, things have changed since I rode my old S Continental. It weighed 30 pounds and had down tube shifters. Not sure if the frame was steel or lead. I'm trying to figure out how to start over. New bike, used higher end bike or ??? Do I really need Ultegra or Durace, and does what I need matter more then what I want? I'm a hobbit (5'7" to 5'8" with a 29-1/2 inseam, depending on gravity and attitude), so I think I'm looking for a 50 to52-inch frame. I rode a 52cm FELT 80 today and the bars seemed like quite a stretch for me, but I'm not sure how that translates for me as far as frame size goes.
I have no aspirations to be an Old Lance Armstrong, to do club races or anything in an organized group. I'm hoping to get out a couple of times a week ands ride 10-15 miles, reduce my waist and increase my cardio. My wife thinks I'm nuts to do this now because tomorrow will be our first 100 degree+ day here near Phoenix. I got rid of the Harley because riding it in the desert was like riding in a convection oven. I'll wait and see how the cycling goes.
Feel free to throw tips, advice or sympathy as appropriate. Thanks for your time.