Decided to get a bike for fun and exercise. Wanted to get better quality than Wal-Mart and Target so shopped the local bike shops, etc. Finally settled on an entry level Giant Cypress ST (steel) hybrid/comfort bike for riding around town and laps at the park.
Three months and 473 miles later I'm saving for a road bike. I've seen huge improvements in my speed and stamina, but long or steep hills still kick my @$$. Barely finished a 70 mile ride yesterday with the local bike club so I'll be doing a lot more training on hills before tackling a long ride with them again.
If I'd known how much I would love cycling I'd have bought a better bike, but it was the right decision at the time.
I've also upgrade my bike computer twice as I desired features I first thought I'd never use (average speed and then cadence).
Guess the only way I could have done this better would have been to start on a decent used bike to see how I would really ride and then go for a new one that suited my needs.
That would be my suggestion to anyone looking to get into cycling. That and beware the addiction.
Learned a lot from reading the forums and looking forward to the community.
Thanks to all who make it happen.