Hello from Chicago, I've been reading and following discussions here recently and thought it was about time to introduce myself. My name is Erick Wilcox- age 33 (in a couple of days), located near downtown with my SO/Fiance/Wife- Leigh Ann. I make and design shoes, as well as teaching the same here in Chicago. I lean towards more traditional materials and methods- in lifestyle (clothing and frame materials) and creatively (shoe-making and design).
I try to ride year round, mostly on old Euro style cruisers and recycled road bikes (steel) and commute the staggering 2-miles to downtown. I am about to buy a new bike for the first time! I had been contemplating longer rides and touring- in addition to already carrying heavier loads (tools, groceries...), so I thought it made sense to get a touring bike. When I determined that the bike I was contemplating (Surly Big Dummy) was going to be above my price range and impractical for storage, my LBS showed me the Raleigh Sojourn in the catalog. I've read a number of posts about it and think its pros (for me) trump the cons for the time being and think it's going to be a good starter tourer plus all-round bike (he says before he has a chance to test ride ).
We calculated that I've probably never ridden more than ten miles in a single stretch, so I've started looking around for scheduled rides to start meeting other cyclists and get in more mileage -- I'll be posting over in the Great Lakes regional discussion soon.
I am looking forward to meeting new people and hearing opinions and suggestions on biking here on BF.