New member to the forum, but I've been riding bikes for over 30 years.
Started as a teenager with cheap road bikes (from the likes of Kmart and toy stores). At my Apex as a collage student, I used to ride one of those "cheap" road bikes along Rocky Ridge road to Highway 280, down 280 past the Water Works, back roads behind the Water Works to Shades Crest, Shades Crest to Bluff Park, and then Tyler Road down into Hoover. I'm slow but steady, so I can go the distance.
When I moved to Gadsden area for a time, I bought a Black Diamond Hard Tail mountain bike. I used it to ride around the roads of Gadsden/Rainbow City. I liked how the knobby tires allowed me to pull off the road as cars went by.
Once I moved back to Birmingham, I started riding the Black Diamond in the woods of Oak Mountain State Park. When a major bike accident broke my collar bone (thank God for helmets), I upgraded to a Gary Fisher HooKooEKoo that I still use today.
My greatest bicycling achievement to date was riding the Black Diamond from Gatlinburg, TN to the Clingman's Dome Parking Lot in the Smoky Mountains National park. The distance was about 44 mile round trip (22 one way) with a net elevation change of about 5,300'
My longest ride in a single day was riding the Black Diamond for the entire length of the Chief Ladiga Trail (out and back) for a total distance of about 66 miles (Rails-to-Trials from Anniston, AL to the GA state line connecting with the Silver Comet Trail).
My next long-term goal is to ride a Century in a day. I hope to try later this year by once again riding the Chief Ladiga Trail, picking up the additional 34 miles by riding a part of the Silver Comet trail.
I'd love to have a modern road bike. It would make completing a Century much easier than using the Black Diamond. But other priorities keep me from dropping a grand on a new bike when I still have the ability to ride the Gary Fisher at Oak Mountain.