Just joined up and wanted to introduce myself a bit!
I am a new bike commuter / enthusiast in Maryland. Recently began living somewhere that was close to a lot of shops and began biking around to them. When I started a new job not far from my house, I started biking there daily as of a month ago. I now put in over 60 miles a week to and fro. Not bothering with the car yet - area's expensive enough, and I am but an intern for now. I often zip past traffic, which around here can come to a standstill at certain "rush" hours.
I biked a bit as a kid, but they were just some esoteric machine to me, and whatever wasn't adjusted right resulted in pretty nasty lower back pain after only a mile or two. I quit, got really unfit and whatnot but am improving the calorie burn with my daily rides.
I currently ride a 700cc Schwinn Trailway - a hybrid 21 speed. It's a Target bike - nothing close to the great stuff I'm sure many here ride, and a far cry from the Fuji bikes my local bike shop sells. Might have to invest in one sometime, but right now it's just the Schwinn. It's my first with "trigger" shifters, which I like a lot. Loads better than the one I used just a few months ago - an old Magna piece of crud that weighed a ton, had next to no shift ability and kept loosening its left pedal. Still have it - trying to invest in enough thermite to repay my suffering.
Overall I like the bike. Need to adjust the bottom bracket this weekend - getting a "pop" in the right pedal when it's parallel to the road and crosses that plane. Nothing seems broke, just an annoying sound and I think it may slightly rob power. Also have some issue getting it to slide into a gear or two - rest are flawless, oddly.
Also looking into "upgrading" it a little bit. Considering trying out drop handlebars - never ridden one like that. I'll have questions in other threads if I can't find them already answered (which they probably are - common new guy questions). Anyways, now for facts:
What I Am:
* 24 years old.
* Short - I am a short man, standing only 5'3".
* Slightly handicapped - My Achilles tendons are too short and have been forever. I basically walk on the "ball" of each foot. Sucks, but I deal. This adds a whopping inch to my height, but seems to prevent effective "standing and peddling"
* Enthusiastic about bikes - they are, in my opinion a better mode of transit than a car for trips anywhere at 12 miles or less.
* A GURPS Game Master.
* A leader of a local martial arts group.
* Really into tea. I go so far as to import loose leaves from China, and I have four gaiwans sitting on my kitchen table.
What I'm Not:
* Extraordinarily athletic - not sure yet just how bad my tendons limit my riding, and how much of it is poor technique or fitness.
* Lance Armstrong - Hills are my nemesis.
* Very knowledgeable about bikes - Still figuring out good gear combos for my commute. I know a few things, and actively seek to improve my "know-age".
That's pretty much me in a nut shell. Now to go about and seek out threads to answer some questions and dig up a picture of a certain bike I'm considering.
Thanks and Hello again!