Greetings! I'm Erin, 23, and a complete n00b at biking. As a art-oriented person with no ambitions for sport or general outdoor activities, cycling is a pretty big step. But that's why I'm doing it---I want to make my bike one of my healthier hobbies and figured this forum could be a "support group" of sorts.
I've had a bike all my life, more recently a generic mountain bike, but since I rarely rode it, I eventually sold it 6 or 7 years ago to get garage space and some cash. I live out in the Kansas country-burbs, where the temps are too hot/cold, the sidewalks too rare and the distance between city and home too vast for the casual cyclist (i.e. me) to go very far without falling over, so I never figured I'd want or need a bike.
However, I recently "inherited" a 1966 Columbia lightweight commuter and I found myself bitten by the Bike Bug---both to fix up and to ride, if only to tootle around a two mile stretch of paved road a couple blocks away. At the moment the bike is out of commission, stripped and in pieces in my garage, on its way to becoming grass green within the week (there was an unfortunate shade of lavender sprayed over the lovely original turquoise) but I'm really excited about the whole process.
As far as condition goes, it's pretty shipshape and fairly rust free, but largely unoriginal. While I'd love to have the original pieces, they seem hard to find (I can't even find the proper name for the bike---just that it's a '66 Columbia) and I imagine they would probably cost more to ship than the value of the actual bike restored. Right now I'm trying to get the necessary parts (I have no reflectors!) so I can ride in the evenings!
Basically I just want my little bike pretty enough to enjoy and safe enough to ride. I'm not one for speed or distance---just fun, healthy jaunts to break up my computer time!
I thank you guys in advance for all your help! I'm quite grateful for such a terrific forum.