Howdy from Texas. I used to ride an antique 10-speed in the 80's back in Louisville, KY but then the job and global job transfers displaced the cycling.
For the last 12 years, I have been an avid runner and decided I needed a "Plan B" for exercise. So on 1 June 2007, I got a Trek 5.9 Madone and made Lance a little richer. My brother in CA told me to buy a "compact cassette" but all I wrote down was "compact" so I ended up having an FSA compact crank put on the bike immediately. Oops. So now I have a brand new Shimano triple as a paper weight. Got Speedplay Zero pedals...fell off the thing twice at stop signs (you feel so dumb) but think I have the hang of it now.
What an amazing piece of machinery. The whole thing works very well and is comfortable. Since I mostly ride the hoods, I'd like flat top bars, so I have Stella Azzurre bars coming this week. My CPA and broker have advised that is enough for the moment.
Being a runner and in decent shape, I did a 35 mile ride my first weekend, then a 50 mile ride the second, then 60 and a 70. After that I figured I could handle a rally so I just did the Goat Neck 100 km (70 miles) and it felt great. I averaged 18 MPH which isn't too shabby for week 8 of my cycling.
I love cycling...wish I had done this years ago.
PS: I also cycled to work one day last week and everyone's jaw dropped. We have a gym and showers in the basement so I may just cycle in on nice days. I live in Cedar Hill and work in south Dallas, so a 15 mile commute is easy. I was however the ONLY cyclist on the road.