I recently got back into commuting to school and work by bike. Here is my setup.
Trek 7000 Hybrid
Rack, Bontrager Interchange Grocery Bag,
3yr old Cygolite Hi-Flux (water bottle battery model)
Bellwether Aqua-No Cycling Rain Jacket
Balaclavas and skull cap
Louisville is a good city to cycle in. Plenty of parks, neighborhood streets, and lots of bike lanes. http://www.ridethecity.com/louisville shows good routes to take. We also have free city maps which show designated bicycle routes that are low traffic when bike lanes are unavailable.
Quick question, I'm thinking of changing my bike for my commute. It's a little under 14 miles each way and has some pretty hilly terrain and I carry about 30lbs on my rack. Roads are so-so. Some are worse than others. Should I go ahead and upgrade to a touring bike? But those are pricey. My LBS has Trek 1.1s for around $600, do road bikes work? Or should I just stay with my trusty hybrid? I definatly can't afford to buy new racks, lights, etc for a new bike so all my accessories are carrying over to a faster bike if I get one.
And yes, it's a night commute home, sometimes through rain. When I start working again (job starts in a few weeks) I'll upgrade to a proper 600 lumen bike light.