I have had my current bicycle for close to 10 years. I bought it off the Internet (through Usenet, newsgroup rec.bicycles.marketplace). I bought it for about $1000 and it was supposedly not ridden very much. I think this is the post to which I responded to.
I don't really know how many miles I put it through, but I used it quite a lot in Japan. I had a few accidents, once I rode with an umbrella and got the umbrella caught in the front wheel. This required a new wheel built by a local shop south of the downtown area. Once I actually crashed into somebody who crossed right in front of me. That bike went up and down the huge hills taking me to the engineering campas. It took me to downtown. To Hitomi's. To the Sakunami hot springs (twice), the seaside (three or four time), the airport. It was my faithful companion.
Then when I came back in 1998, I rode it to school and back nearly every day. Even in the rain, for the next 2 years. And then also to my friend's places and anywhere around Seattle. I rode it when I worked at @mobile and Openwave, when I lived in Kirkland. During this time when I noticed the condition worsening, I had it fixed at the Mountlake Bicycle shop. It was about $300-400 worth of drivetrain repairs in 2002. And I added rechargable lights for riding at night.
When Hitomi came, she wanted a bicycle for getting around. Since she's so short, I knew her options were limited. We went to the REI in Downtown and looked at frames. She wanted something cheap (not like my bicycle) and so we walked out with a fairly low-end Novara Metro. This turned out to be a mistake, as such a bicycle is unsuitable for climbing hills, which is what you face in the Puget Sound Area. So, there was no chance of her keeping up with me and we stopped riding together and kayaked instead.
I rode my bicycle to my next company, Proteusmobile (which became m-Qube.) Eventually when the office moved to Redmond, I would drive or sometimes take the bus (with my bicycle) to the Bear Creek Park and Ride. I also rode it when I was teaching UNIX at the BCC North Campus, which was in Kirkland.
When I moved to Seattle, I used to ride my bicycle to Montlake to get to Redmond. Driving was a pain, of course, so when I went it was usually after 10 or 11. When Mike P and Mark T were laid off and Alice stopped coming to the office, I worked mostly out of my home office.
When Hitomi began work at Nintendo, there was no car, so when I was at home during the day I only had a bicycle or bus to get me places. Last year I rode it almost every time I went flatwater kayaking on Greenlake and often to see friends.
At the end of 2005, I bought Hitomi a slightly used bicycle off of eBay.
Since it was convenient, and I worked at home during the day, I had the Bicycle Doctor come by for service. It was about $100-150 for a visit and my bicycle needed quite a lot of work. The second time he came, summer 2006 he instructed me to stop wasting my time on this bicycle and get a new one. That I deserved a better ride and a bigger frame, etc. I concurred, but how much should I be spending?
Purchasing a new bicycle went into the back of my mind as I was buying and moving into my new home in the Rooselvelt district. I also changed jobs. It turns out that Boon, my boss, also rides. He encouraged me last fall to keep a bicycle down in San Rafael, California (in the San Fransisco Bay Area). I'd love to go riding over those wind-swept grassy trails, perched on hills that rise up from the sea. Riding the Golden Gate Bridge and through S.F. sounds quite exciting as well.
After I moved to the new house, I noticed a shop along Rooselvelt Ave, which is called "Perfect Wheels." It is a one-map business. One thing I noticed was a take-apart bicycle, which would be perfect for travelling to S.F. I learned the bicycle frame is a <a href="http://www.ritcheylogic.com/web/Ritchey~Logic/Ritchey~Site/web/EN/main/20789.html">Ritchey Take-Away. After riding a few times in Thailand, Hitomi has been eager to participate in some sort of riding event. She and I (on her initiative, and my consent) signed up for the Seattle to Portland (STP) 2007 event. She's also looking at riding in Vietnam this winter.
Last weekend we rode the Burke-Gilman Trail to Kenmore, meeting up with it by going over Wedgewood Hill (Ridge?) and View Ridge. We stopped at Top Pot Donuts on the way over, and planned to make it back to Seattle for lunch. Coming back, we had to cross a hill to return via the U District. Hitomi complained about riding up a windy hill from U Village to the U.W. campus. This road is fairly wide and traffic drives about 20 MPH, so when she complains about "busy roads" I'm always a bit puzzled where I should be taking Hitomi for rides. We even bought a book on riding around Seattle, but would she even enjoy half the rides which take her into some traffic?
I was fitted for the Ritchey frame last weekend. The frame and Shimano Ultegra setup comes to about $2800, which is a lot of money for a bicycle. But, it comes with hand-built wheels and seems comparable to other shops. I'm going to order tomorrow.
I'm also considering a "Fixie" (fixed-gear) conversion for my old Giant bicycle. I'm guessing with a new wheel it would be about $350. With the drive train in such bad shape, and a wheel (rear) that needs replacing, it seems like a fair way to preserve it. I'd really love to keep riding it, since it has been such an old friend.