i've three bikes (hybrid-beach cruiser, roadie and mtn) but never road with the passion evident in mb's post. i don't even own a stitch of lycra (or is that material just poured into a mold?), my padded biking pants being of the pocketed baggy version. i've heard that you can tell you've been biking for too long when you think the clothing looks cool.
i prefer trail riding which i hope is not just a fashion statement. we have some really nice trails for the mtn bike but i wish we had more interesting roads for the roadie. state road a1a is nice but it gets old and the best weather to ride brings out the most & the worst drivers who pop out of all those driveways, so the ride can get defensive at stretches.
i ride the road mostly late at night or early morning before sunrise when the roads are finally quiet. my favorite time is an hour after the bars close until rush hour starts, especially in the summer when that is both the quietest and coolest part of the day. i've got a real good light set on the roadie with high beams & huge battery. if i was concerned about bike weight i'd just lose another 10 pounds myself.
putting the hitch on the car was a good move as it accepts a sturdy bike rack so i can ride in new places. you would think being so flat that florida would be ideal for biking but our roads have gotten so crowded with cars that we have one of the highest national rankings for bicycle deaths.
work is being done to make florida more bike-friendly but, while appreciated, they are late in coming and slow to actualize. but they promise to make biking safer and more enjoyable into the future. these include efforts like Broward County - Greenways Bike Florida
and others. i was just visiting old friends new to sarasota and found this being constructed near their new retirement house: Florida , Sarasota Rail Trail, FL: The Trust for Public Land
. had only i known i'd have brought my bike with me on that visit.