Hola, my name is Kyle and I'm a virgin rider from Seattle.
A buddy sent me this way about a 2 weeks ago and I've been scouring through the threads here non-stop, learning all sorts of invaluable info that helped in my decision to convert to the bike world. (Specifically the Advice for new commuters thread.)
I pretty much tripled my allotted budget, but I wanted to get it right the first time.
This is my new mode of transportation:
At the first 5 bike shops, I test rode a few bikes and couldn't really tell what I should be feeling for. It all felt foreign so it was all about someone just selling me on it. However when I rode this today, it was a world of difference. Needless to say, I feel quite confident in my purchase.
Now I can't wait for the Seattle rain to go away so I can start beefin' up my legs and lungs so I can do the 'long haul'.
Thanks again and wo0p@!