My name is Brendan. I'm 20, from Colorado, part time student, soon to be full time. Short and sweet: This place looks cool, I'm just getting into biking and have found a wealth of great information here. The long and sour:
I haven't been 'biking' for very long. The idea of biking never really used to appeal to me. During the time when I could have been biking over the last 5 or so years, I'd been smoking, not sleeping, and otherwise doing things which weren't a very good use of my time. At the start of this year, a neighbor, while cleaning out his garage, found a few old bikes. One of them was about 35 years old, beaten into the ground, and needed to be carried the 10 feet from his garage to mine, and was generally falling apart. Through the luck of having a bike-crazy girlfriend, and a good, local free bike shop, I was able to get it back up and running, so to speak.
The thing had 2 bent wheels, a destroyed frame, ruined wheels, worthless tires, a broken seat, and a lovely habit of falling to pieces whenever I road it for more than 500 feet. So, I figured there isn't any way I'm going to make it worse, why not put some work into it and see what happens? I probably didn't do things the best way, or even the right way, and stumbled my way through fixing it using youtube videos and some help from other bikers. I didn't make it perfect, but I ran the thing into the ground the way I felt it deserved, riden until it just wasn't going to even stay together anymore! Sadly, the thing died a couple weeks ago.
I found myself without my poor old bike anymore, and in possession of a gift from my mother, a 1985(?) Pinarello Montello, some kind of sentimental token from her to my apparently proven passion for biking. I sold the bike (she wanted me to, plus I couldn't provide the security needed for me to be comfortable riding it around), and got myself a good starter bike for about 300$, and now that I was equipped with a proper helmet, light, lock, and most importantly, bike, I could finally give more time to riding and less to fixing.
I love it. I love biking. I love learning about how they work. I love not having to pay for gas. I hate having to worry about the thing getting stolen, getting hit by a car, or getting stuck somewhere miles from my house with a bike in pieces, but that hasn't stopped me from riding. I'm here to learn things that can help me feel comfortable getting into biking into the further reaches of my comfort zone, and expanding my zone too. I have a special interest in bike security, hearing from people comfortable riding in the street, long distances, at night, and fast, as those are all things I'd love to learn as well.
I may not post much. On another forum I staff, we require people to post essays prior to being accepted, not only does it help to weed out the lowest denominator, its a great way to spot people who have similar interests in a forum that is always getting bigger and bigger, so, even though it's not required, I figured I'd post an intro anyways. If you read all of this, thanks! If not, it's all good. Thanks for having me!