@stuffisthings I can give her some of my questionably useful over-the-counter anxiety globules (http://www.amazon.com/Similasan-Anxiety-Relief-Globules-Soothes/dp/B001U89IVS).
@stuffisthings You live in D.C., right? This is a GREAT OPPORTUNITY to plug the classes my employer, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, runs. Confident City Cycling has your name on it: http://waba.org/education/adult.php
@bgprincipessa @bgprincipessa It's funny because we wanted to use this series to talk about the costs of riding bikes for transportation, and so much of this thread has brought up (really good!) points about the not-so-money aspects of it. But that's OK! We'll try to get to some of the safety/sweat concerns.
@BananaPeel Old Schwinns are cute, but they weigh a million pounds. I can't say precisely what's wrong with your seat without looking at it, but it sounds unsafe. Yes, riding a bike can be a whole lot better! I second checking out co-ops for simpler repairs, but it can really make your life better if you have a bike shop. Ask your bike-y friends for recommendations, or go to shops that are more commuter-focused (selling Linus, Coda, Jamis, Giant over Specialized, Trek, etc.). Google is your friend in learning about shops and learning about bikes. Shop judginess is stupid and in a perfect world, a tri/racer shop would be kind and accommodating to commuters (and vice-versa!), but it doesn't always seem to work that way. That said, as biking emerges as a legitimate form of transportation in American cities, shops sprout up around that. A few shops in D.C. have opened specifically to cater to commuter/recreation/"lifestyle"/not-spandex-dork riders.
@Fig. 1 @ellabella ENDORSE SCHWALBE MARATHONS (rode through Eastern Europe on a Brompton with Schwalbes, no flats) AND/OR CONTI GATORSKINS (I have them on my road bike for my off-roading moments).
@notpollyanna The more you do it, the easier it gets. I find I now need a good hour or so behind the wheel of a car to feel comfortable driving. Think of carrying your bike downstairs as an entreat to lifting weights. (Lifting is great! But that's an entirely separate topic.)
@chewtastic This comment is great and says so many of the things I was going to tell people. I am also really happy that this is the post that compelled you to comment. Thank you! Happy riding!
@chic noir It was too expensive—like literally everything in D.C. But I try to check out new places in my neighborhood before writing them off. (Also, $19.50 included tip. I realized I didn't include tip on the other items I have on here.)
@isavedlatin I do like to be honest about what I do in my spare time. The gin was in a Mason jar because my flask was filled with whiskey.
@MuffyStJohn Oof. Yeah, that doesn't sound like an ideal way to learn. WABA offers confident cycling classes if you feel like doing the lesson thing again (and they totally kno what they're doing). I'm not crazy about Critical Mass—it seems like the people that participate in it are intentionally antagonist to cars, and while I dislike the behavior of a lot of drivers, it just isn't worth the effort for me. BicycleSpace, the bike shop I go to, offers really chill group rides on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Or you can hit me up and we can go for a bike ride, because I dig riding bikes with people around D.C.