Hello. I live in Florida and rode an old mountain bike for years on and off road for exercise and mental stability. I heard a radio story about RAGBRAI a couple of years ago, bought a road bike, and rode it last year. I will be doing the same this year on my Cannondale SR800. It worked well in Florida on the smooth flat roads, but I broke a couple of spokes going down hills in Iowa across the gaps in the concrete slabs. So now I have built my own rear wheel (36 spoke to handle my weight) and will be building the front wheel this week. I also have an old Cannondale Jekyl to ride off road, and an Electra Townie 700 8 speed for the neighborhood. I'd like to eventually build up a Surly frame from scratch, but I need some more bike mechanic training and practice.