I've decided to abort my plan of installing an electric motor on my Townie, and save up for a better bicycle. I've come to realize that I can get around just fine with only pedal power ... !!! I've increased my average speed from only 6mph to about 10mph in about five months of casual riding to work, running errands and shopping.
With all my health problems, I'm making very good progress. I never thought I'd be able to do this much on my bicycle! Since I quit drinking coffee, my stamina has increased considerably, and haven't had any chest pains for several weeks now. I feel like the weight is slowing me down though, and so I'd like to go lighter, if possible, much lighter.
After reading through thousands of posts on many bicycle forums, and finding out what so many people are doing with their bicycles, I am absolutely amazed ... !!! And encouraged with hope that I can make the best of going green all the way, and enjoy riding much more ... !!!
I need a good quality, strong bicycle, that is light, smooth-riding with little resistance, but yet will still be able to carry front and rear racks with panniers (both rear and front) for when I go shopping, or camping. Most of my riding will be commuting to work, and then picking up a few groceries after work, which will mean that I can get by with carrying fewer groceries each trip. I'd like to travel as light as possible, for a much quicker and smoother ride .... I'm hoping that I can get my average speed up to 15mph or more with a better bicycle.
One problem I have is my back, and so I need to be able to sit up pretty much straight. If I lean down, my back hurts too much. I'd like to be able to stand up and pedal too. I've tried standing up pedaling on my Townie, but it just doesn't work!
I won't be doing any long distance touring, mostly riding to work (maximum 20 miles round trip), running errands and shopping several times a week for myself and my two boys. I plan on camping several times a year at our local campgrounds, Caswell Memorial State Park, which is about 40 miles round trip.
My long-term goal is to someday be able to handle the ride up to Yosemite from Modesto, which is about 115 miles each way, with a hotel at about half way, 66 miles from our home!
I'm not sure just how much I will have to spend on a new bicycle until I get my tax return. I'm hoping that I can spend at least $1,000.00 for just the bike, and add racks/panniers later. I'd like to spend more though. I want to have a bike that has many possibilities for attaching racks and panniers, water bottles, etc.