Welcome to CSR Nation
I am a devoted spinner on a stationary bike in my gym. I have long avoided riding a bike on streets and roads for fear of a fall that results in my being unable to practice my profession. While I am still hesitant to ride on city streets -- and I live in a city that is steadily adding to the number of bike lanes -- I am entertaining the idea of riding on dedicated suburban bike trails.
I'd like to hear from any reporters who are also bike riders to hear about their experiences. Safety advisories are very welcome.
Cookie and I (that's my old Trek) did the 2000 AIDS Ride together. 500 mi from St. Paul, Minnesota back down to Chicago, Illinois. It was awesome and I would suggest if anyone is able to do it, go for it! The routes were a little less traveled by vehicles, so we were okay in that department. But the middle day, Hill day, a/k/a HELL day, was the scariest by far. Going downhill on country roads upwards of 40 mph with the brakes on - one unseen rock in the road and you're over your bars! I wasn't really focused on my wrists at that point - it was more road-rash or splitting my head open than anything else.
If your city is improving bike lanes, then you probably have some decent trails already. For me if I were to go on a trail say downtown Chicago, it would have to be during the weekday, not weekend. It's way too crowded and frustrating. I'd stay off the streets as much as possible. Have fun!
Actually, what got me to thinking about it was doing the SF to LA AIDS ride. Some people in my spin class do it. This year an 83-year-old rider did it, and I thought what the hell, I could do that. SF doesn't have anything like the magnificent bike trail system in the Twin Cities, but it is improving here and I see more and more bike commuters every day. And there are a lot of great suburban trail systems that I could use. Anyway I'm starting to think about it seriously. Thanks for the support!