This is a bit like finally walking into the inside of house you've been peering at through a webcam for a while. Not that I do that -- I'm pretty sure that's normally pretty boring (at least, the inside of *my* house is pretty boring. The inside of my refrigerator, on the other hand...)
Anyway, I just want to thank everyone here for all the interesting and useful posts I've checked out in the last few months. I stumbled on this site while trolling for information on the icebike site (http://www.icebike.com/ ) and kept coming back to check out the discussions. Bikeforums is a great place -- I checked out a few lists/discussion boards and this has got to be one of the most helpful, civil sets of discussions I've seen. (the icebike list is up there, too). Naturally, everyone who participates on this board deserves some credit, but I'm amazed and impressed at what a great thing you've made happen, Joe. It's like a garden. I'm even more stunned that you nurtured this place into being with your own spare time and spare funds. I'm glad that so many who came to play in this space were able (and willing) to help you save it.
But anyway, as far as who I am goes:
what does it matter to say?
My real name is Cathy, I was born in the year of the dragon but I'm neither 13 nor 25, I've cycled on and off in my life ever since I got a bike when I was a kid, have a driver's license but never got round to getting a car, used to be a traffic wuss but am much better thank you. I cycle mostly to get places where I have commitments -- to work, to play, to socialize, to meet -- and have yet to feel a need to do serious sporting cyclist things. I do notice, however, that these days whenever I choose to take the bus or work from home, that I get all wistful and a teensy bit jealous when I see someone heading somewhere on their bike.
Until the bus strike last year (which lasted 4 months, I think), I hadn't really used my bike much for a couple or three years. It was the bus strike that got me going again, as daunting (for me) as it was to go from no riding at all to riding 27ish km (17 miles) or more a day to get to work and to play. I was tired a lot for a long time, but the alternative was bumming rides off people or finding excuses to work from home all summer, neither of which were gonna work for me.
So now it's several months later and I'm still riding, even though the bus strike ended a few months ago. I actually bought myself a half decent bike (early on in the strike) and some reasonably good gear (for the weather and for safety and for carrying things mostly), and am either too stubborn or too addicted to quit now. It's a bit of both, probably.
I will probably take the bus in tomorrow because it got rather snowy and icy here on the weekend, and it seems the prudent thing to do until more of the streets are clear. I'm tempted, of course, but I'm not yet very skilled yet on ice and snow, and neither are the drivers here. This is because it doesn't snow much in Vancouver -- winter is usually just rain, rain, rain, and more rain, and a little occasional freakout when there's a little snow or ice.
so that should give you some idea of who I am and what I'm about. See ya on the boards!