I have been riding bikes of various sorts as my primary transportation since the early 90's. I went car - free in '88 and then spent a few years fooling around with Metro buses before becoming totally fed up and switching to bikes. I then rode a succession of mountain bikes as general purpose bikes. In the last few years, I have been gravitating to urban bikes and now a touring bike. I currently ride a Novara Big Buzz as a commuter and on weekends I ride a Novara Randonee for fun and shopping. I am coming to believe that a touring bike is about as close to an all purpose bike as you can get. Although Houston is about as un-bike-friendly a city as you can get, I am still happy as a cyclist. It appears that y'all have an active forum and look forward to the future as a member.