Another Nebraska cyclist here. I ride vehicularly, and encourage others to do so, too! In my town, there are too many cyclists riding on the sidewalks, and too many people who think that I should also be on the sidewalk. I've even heard that I should be riding on the sidewalk against traffic, because that's 'safest'!! Balderdash!
I commute to work only 3 miles each way; my ride of choice currently is a 2000 Terry Flora hybrid, upon which I've placed a Terry Liberator saddle, a Blackburn MTN1+ rack, a bell, and a light. I've ordered fenders, and they should be here soon - I should mention for the good of the order that 24" wheel fenders are almost IMPOSSIBLE to find. But, Wald makes them - in middleweight and balloon sizes.
I'm looking at possibly buying an older Terry Symmetry road bike. It has friction shifters mounted on the downtube, which I find really awkward. Any tips/hints on upgrading the bike?
I've been lurking on the Commuting, Road, General, and Women's boards. Lots of good info to be found here, and I'm glad for Bike Forums!