I'd like to make the transition to bicycle commuting. I'd thought I'd start by riding the ~1.5 miles to the park and ride on the days that I go downtown. It's a fully paved route with a few small inclines. Eventually I'd like to work up to riding the 8 miles to Beaverton that I currently do by car. I'm extremely out of shape, so I'm sure this will take some time.
I have an mountain bike from the 90s that I pulled out to start with. The tires are completely shot. The back brake has some issues. I worked some WD-40 into it and adjusted the cable. It's better, but still rather stiff.
First, am I crazy for trying to do this, especially at this time of year?
If I'm not bonkers,
- What kind of tires should I look at? What can I expect as far as cost?
- Where should I go to buy them? I have a lot to learn, and I'd like to work with a local shop that's willing to educate it's customers. I'd prefer not to be eschewed or condesended to because I'm a N00b.
- How concerned should I be about the back brake? The front brake works very smoothly.
- I routinely carry 15-20 lbs. Will I be okay for the short distance just using my backpack?
Any other tips/advice is also welcome.
Thanks for your help!