As a child on eastern Long Island NY and college student in Virginia I loved biking (even doing a MS 150 in 1989 with my recumbent-riding now-husband) but after college the biking urge slowed and the weight-gain /out-of-shape quickened as I grew my career. The location, Appalachian Virginia, I didn't find particularly bike friendly and I was intimidated by the mountains and what I judged was either too-hot, too-cold climate for consistent, steady exercise.
Fast forward to 2 years ago when we moved my career down to Palm Beach County, FL. I dug out my trusty old Schwinn Impact from the MS 150 and started doing some short rides. Enjoying dinner, some wine, and a book one night sitting at a sidewalk cafe, my bike was sitting a few feet from me but my eyes were occupied. Looking up after the last page, my wheels were gone. <sob, who would want his rusty body, I had thought, instead of investing in a lock, besides, I was sitting *right* *there.*>
On to the LBS a few weeks later when I realized the stunted seedlng had been given enough water to grow again. I justified the purchase of a new Trek 7300FX and lots of accessories with the rationalization, "I'll save money and commute to work." I was, after all, only 6-7 miles away and *gasp* I had shower facilities at my office! And so, I did, when I felt like it.
Just a few weeks later, a little breeze called Wilma came through our town. She flicked a 4x8 sheet of plywood just like it was a playing card, through the roof and windshield of Gromit, my MINI Cooper S (British Racing Green, by the way.) As power was out everywhere in the county, and many cars were damaged, Gromit was in queue at the body shop for many weeks. And, since I had taken the rental car rider off my insurance due to high Floridian rates, I was out of a ride.
Other than for the first few days of dealing with such road debris as fallen trees, and non-functional stoplights as well as coffee-less drivers, and having to get 50 pounds at a time of dry ice for my business's frozen goods, during which I sprung for a rental, I was able to successfully be car-free with Bones. And I was able to continue to justify and rationalize further upgrades and accessories since I was saving so much not needing to keep the rental. Or spend the time waiting in lines at the gas stations lucky enouigh to have gotten power back.
Then the longer rides kept growing and I felt more and more driven to commute even after Gromit came back from the plastic surgeon. Now I commute much more than drive.
And as for the longer rides, well, now I am considering my options with road bikes. For weekend trips; the roads I have to commute on are too rough and hairy for a light tires otherwise I would be dealing with several flats and falls a day. The hand and back positions available with the hybrid just leave me a bit uncomfortable for long rides. I'm planning a trip down to the Keys for camping and snorkeling as my next project.
Oh, and I got a chain and lock. A big strong one.