I posted this thread before in the Northeast forum, but it was suggested that I try posting in this forum instead. Apologies for those who are reading this again.

Hello all,

I'm new to riding and owning bikes. Lately, I've been considering getting a bicycle. I've been reading the forum for a while but have never posted until now, since I think I might be ready to shop around for a purchase. I'd like to know of any bike stores in the DC metropolitan area that are "beginner-friendly". I've never owned a bike before and have a pretty limited amount of experience riding them as well, so it'd be nice to have a store to go to with staff who'll be open to taking their time out to offer help and advice without pressuring or intimidating me into buying something.

Are there any stores in the area that would have a lot large enough for me to test ride their selections? Since I'm still new to biking, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing a test ride on busy DC streets. I also find it hard to make tight turns, so I'd need a good amount of space to turn around in (like the parking lot of the REI at College Park). Otherwise, I can always hop off the bike and turn it around.

Also, are there bike shops around that sell used bikes? I'm on the short side (5'2 with about a 28" inseam), so I doubt there would anything used that'll suit me, but it's worth a shot.
And I'm planning on getting a hybrid bike, if that helps any. I've heard that Proteus Bicycles in College Park and Spokes, etc. are good shops. I plan on checking them out soon.

Thanks for any help and advice you can offer.

Also, if I'm not being very clear about all this, please let me know. I'll be glad to rephrase myself.