My 2011 New Year's resolution was to ride my bike to work every day, rain or shine. It took a while to build a reliable commuter, but I've been doing so since last May. Weather is mid-70's to mid 80's, perfect for riding, as I've only been caught in the rain 5 times. The round trip is almost 12 miles. The roads are mostly decent. Traffic is heavy and constant during rush hour. Speeds are stop-and-go, then 20-25mph in town. At that rate, it's safer to claim the lane than ride on the edge. For a half-mile, it's WOT uphill, maybe 35mph in the curb lane. If traffic seems aggressive, I hop onto the sidewalk @ jogging speed, let the cagers race past, then jump back on the road again. My bike will do 40mph easily, but there's no need to go that fast to/from work.
It's like riding your favorite amusement ride for 30 minutes, 10 times a week!
My favorite part of the ride is charging up a steep narrow dirt path for 45 seconds!
Preventive maintenance is constant. Disc brakes need readjusting every two weeks. Both chains on a shift kit bike need replacing at least once a year. I've learned the hard way that stiff bicycle chain links cause catastrophic damage.
Tires and gasoline last a LONG time with shift-kitted bikes.
It's like driving my old hotrod VW Bug of bygone years. The Tanaka engine is reliable, it's cheap to build and maintain, it's easy to park, it handles well, and I LOVE to shift gears!