And I say 'b!tchez' in the most friendly, Chapellesque way.
33yr old man, road cyclist, riding around 3000 miles a year since I got my '99 Schwinn Circuit. I've stayed away from the clubs, as I enjoy the meditative qualities of solo rides and have no great love for competitive yuppies. Commute to work in midtown 4 to 5 times a week on a hybrid beater. And I own a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket that's set up to mimic my Circuit, which I've taken to all sorts of exotic foreign nations, like England, Wales, Canada, and Florida.
I do a fast ride (fast for me, anyway) to Coney Island about one night every week, and one longer ride on the weekends - Nyack roundtrip, Bear Mountain one-way, loop around S.I., out to the Rockaways, up to City Island. Always looking for new interesting routes that can start from home.
A little bit chubbo, not a particularly fast rider, but can always make the distance. Ride the NYC Century and MS Century every year, as well as the 5 boro and Tour de Bronx with friends.
Fixed gear bikes have never made much sense to me, but a close friend has been getting into it recently so I've been forced to reconsider. Anyone can explain it to me, other than 'it's cool'? I guess I'll start explorin' the forums right about....now!
Welcome to the forums! Sounds like the clubs that I too tend to avoid. Pacelines, training rides, etc. Fortunately I've hooked up with a touring club. The rides are leisurely and we usually pair up and just visit as we roll along. Mind you there are very accomplished long distance cyclists in this bunch and some commuters. But we always have fun, especially on the "ice cream" rides. (We find a cool deli or ice cream shop and then base the ride route so that either part way through or at the end of the ride we can eat. You might want to look in your area for such a club. I enjoy my solitude on commutes, but I also enjoy the club rides for the fellowship.