After gettting my bike stolen, I decided to get more educated about bikes in general, so I can get the best and most comfy bike for my purposes. I'm likely going to get a hybrid of some sort and load it with carriers and even a basket. They will call me 'Turtle - because I carry my house with me , and perhaps also because of my less than blazing speed at first. But I've got to get a move on, before the summer traffic boom starts - must practice.
Anyway this looks like a great and welcoming place and I've already used some of the very useful info and links that people have posted. Thanks very much.
Welcome - tell us more about your purposes. I used to have a basket on the front of my bike in the middle of the drop bars. It is great for things you want easy access to while riding - sandwiches, maps, camera, rain jacket, extra water etc. What part of Ontario are you in?
I'm near Peterborough, which I guess is central.
Mostly, I plan to use the bike for commuting - but that means I need many things. Extra shoes, work clothes, play clothes, water, snacks, books, sunscreen, may need to grab some groceries, etc., etc. I hate not having things handy. And I'd prefer to not wear a knapsack.
To save the amount I have to carry, I keep the following at work - slacks, shoes, U-lock, towel, shampoo, sunscreen. I have a lightweight cable lock on the bike in case I want to dash in to a shop on the way home. Peterborough is a pleasant area, I have camped at Rice Lake several times.
There is a trail that runs from Peterborough to Lindsay, Fenelon Falls etc .. nice ride .. I live Orillia myself though ...
I just ordered some extra carrying capacity--my first waterbottle cage bag from Nashbar.
Now to find the right bike - and off I go.