Hello from MN
I've been biking since I was 6 and commuting regularly since about 3 years ago (I am 28 now). My first bike was a 20" huffy with an analog speedometer (I was and still am obsessed with gauges
). My next bike was a 24" cannondale mountain bike which I had for almost 10 years and still own today. I got a mid-range Raleigh road bike living in Madison, WI after circumstances were such that I could commute 6 1/2 miles to work each way - having a road bike shaved that commute from 35 minutes down to 20-25.
I moved back to MN about a year ago and now have a 3 1/2 mile commute. Sadly my Raleigh met an unfortunate end at the intersection of a multi-use path and a road intersecting it from the left, courtesy of a driver who just had to make their right on red. It was low-speed, I wasn't hurt, but my frame and back tire were a total loss.
I used the settlement from that toward my current ride, a specialized roubaix.
Being a "transplant" back to the twin cities area I left behind good trails and regular biking friends in Madison, but have since joined up with the Twin Cities Bicycling Club to try to get in some regular longer rides here and to learn the area.
MN climate being what it is I have maybe 2 months tops before road biking becomes prohibitive. You can dress for cold but not for ice and snow!
I'm looking forward to browsing the forums and contributing when I can. Stay safe out there!