My employer recently put out a bunch of cruiser bicycles for us all to ride around the campus. Nothing expensive -- just simple single-speed Huffies with baskets (large enough to hold laptops and small bags) on the front and those thin white flexible poles with triangular orange flags. However, I've been riding them for the last week, and it's been amazingly fun.
I went to college at UC Davis in the early 90s, and biking was by far my primary mode of transportation. The bike was... hell, I don't know. Something cheap, heavy, probably a mountain bike/road bike hybrid thing. I was never an enthusiast, and I'm still not. I remember getting this first bike. I just went into a bike shop, found something that looked good in my price range, and rode off. Thousands of other students did, too. I rode it almost every day for 5 years, and then got into my car and drove to silicon valley, and hadn't been on a bike since.
...So when I was riding around Mountain View, CA on the corporate cruisers, I had a reaction which really reminded me of those halcyon days, when I was in better shape. I've been riding these bikes every day. Come the weekends, I was *missing* riding around to get coffee, to go on errands, and to get exercise.
I consulted a couple trusted, non-fanatical rider friends, and told them what I was looking for -- something not too fancy, not too expensive, something suitable for riding around town, and, above all, something fun! I got a few recommendations which steered me toward the Electra Townie. The price was right, and the feature set, better-than-base quality level, and flat foot design, looked (on the web) like just my style.
Then I started reading about the Electra Amsterdam. The whole package was brilliant, and after reading everything I could about it, I felt compelled to go into a shop and take a look. I walked out having bought one. The appearance & details were less cool and more cultured, than the Townie, but it was the feel of the bike that really sold me. It just made me feel at ease and totally comfortable. Should be here on Wednesday!
Long story short: for the first time, I'm really excited about a bicycle!
Anyway, that's my story. Hey, everybody! ;-)