Just signed on here. I'm the girlfriend/wife that you bike fanatics complain about. Just not into cycling.
I had a Trek 4300 that I bought while living out in PA for a while. I know virtually nothing about bikes (they have 2 wheels right?). After I met my bike fanatic boyfriend, first thing he said when he saw it was that it was way too big for me. The guy at the bike shop swore I needed a 21" bike, when apparently it should have been more like 17". I was very aggravated and sold the bike on Ebay. That was my first new bike I had ever had. The bike I had as a kid was a Huffy Sun Scamp (I think that was the name) that my dad got for $10 at a garage sale. It was bright orange. Quite ugly, but I rode it all over the place. Until I got the Trek in 2001, I hadn't been on a bike for probably 13 years.
The house I bought sits near some beautiful old canal paths (Delaware & Raritan Canal), so now I've got it in my head to give those a shot. The bike fanatic tells me to use one of his bikes, but they all cost several thousand $ and I'm afraid to even look at them, let alone ride one. So I have begun my quest for a new bike, the right size this time. I'll be hanging around in the recreational & family forum mostly, so if anyone knows any good (preferably flattish) trails in the NJ-eastern PA area, I'd love to hear about them.