I have a Giant FCR 2W flat bar road bike I purchased ~a year and a half ago, but just finally started to take out. My longest ride so far has been ~20 miles (not long, I know, but it was only my second real ride, so give me a break!)
My sister has a cannondale road bike and is seriously into the sport now, which has inspired me. I have not been on a group ride yet, only biking trails (with twisty turns and slick steep hills--a real road sound nice). I put shimano clipless pedals on my bike, and after a few falls (just standing there) have gained a lot of confidence using them. Now here's the kicker. I like my bike, but I want a REAL road bike now. I was thinking maybe I could just splurge and change the handlebars and gears, but I'm just not sure.
Went shopping yesterday and looked at a Trek 2.1 wsd and a Giant Avail. I'm leaning towards the Avail because it has nicer gears and brakes. I'm going to try and do a recovery ride with a group before I spend anymore money. Hopefully it will be a good experience.
I'm so happy since I started biking. I love all my bruises and scraped knees! It makes me feel alive!