My son and I are from Central Illinois and recently have become interested in bicycling. It started with a 16 mile ride one Sunday morning on our 2 Next Mtn bikes 26" and 24" 18 speeds. We have had these bikes for about 3-4 years. They hadn't been ridden much and as we later realized they were not in tune or adjusted for us at all. They were Wal Mart specials, ridden as they had been bought. Our trip had left us sore, sunburnt, and determined we would make that ride again, but only after we figured out a way to make it easier on us. We don't have the money to buy full blown road bikes yet, so in the meantime we are going to make some inexpensive changes to our current bikes(tires especially), hopefully making our ride more compfortable next time. Since that ride our bikes have been tuned up and we have made several adjustments to make them more compfortable for us. We have been making 3-4 mile trips near our house a few nights a week, it is getting easier on us.