I've been riding a bike since the age of eight - a bit late, I think, compared to most kids. I've more than made up for it, though, as I've been an avid cyclist for the past eight years or so now, commuting to school the last five.
I've tackled my first winter commute this year, and aside from the piles of snow that can smother the streets here, it's been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Strange, the journey to and from school and work has been one of constant rewards. No better heating system in the winter than the human body.
For most of my cycling 'career' I've owned a general department store mountain bike, and all of them have been stolen. I upgraded to a road bike this past fall, and it has not been stolen since I was ultimately in my first accident on the road involving a motor vehicle - t-boned by an SUV (helmet saved my goddamned brain!). The fork and handlebars were ruined, though I'm thinking of building up a fixie with the remaining frame. It wasn't a big loss really... the bike was not very good, kind of heavy and I'm not sure of the quality of the steel. However, it was a beauty of a bike - bright, red cherry red, along with the wheels.
In any case, I'm riding a Fuji Ace ('04) now. I got it about a week or two after my accident. I could not bear to take public transportation any longer knowing that I could simply whiz to and from school. It actually began to affect my mood; the lack of daily exercise made me feel less engaged with everything. Mind you, a lot of it probably had to do with the effects of the accident on my head (and really, I shouldn't have been on a bike so soon after...) but, I mean, who can go back to dozing off on the bus when pedalling was their daily ritual?
The aluminum frame has given me a substantial boost in terms of commuting time! I've also got five locks - three of which I use regularly to lock it when needed it. Not taking any chances. I've put this bike through so much, and it has remained a very strong and reliable ride so I am pleased.
I am planning to cycle across Canada with some friends in the summer of 2006.
Thus concludes my overdrawn introduction! I'm looking forward to all the information I obtain and contribute to on these forums!