Thanks for the comments, folks.
Some people suggested I look for a cheap-o bike for sale on Craigslist or in the neighborhood or something. Because I’m without a car, this sort of garage sale, Craigslist type method can be a real pain. This is why I’m looking into buying from an honest-to-God store at this point.
Cross bike or Mountain bike? I’ve found that new mountain bikes are cheaper than new cross bikes. So I’m leaning mountain bike right now. The bike shop guys told me the UW campus is perhaps the most “bike theft” prone place in the Pacific Northwest. Since I plan to be riding to the UW in the relative near future, I’m very conscious of the price I’ll be paying for the bike, considering it seems likely to be stolen at some point. But if I do get into riding as a real activity, I’ll look into getting a dope ride.
Performance Bike offers free lifetime tuneups if you buy from them at their brick/mortar store.
Hopefully it goes without saying, but judging the number of cyclists I see running red lights, please remember that those and other traffic laws, apply to you as well.
Well, you’re right, but when a cyclist runs a red light, the cyclist is dead, whereas the car that hits him isn’t. Cyclist have a lot more to lose. Sometimes cyclists aren’t able to trigger the sensors in the roadway that makes the lights change. While it is technically illegal, I have no problem seeing cyclists look both ways and go.
Also, I’ve heard conflicting things about bike lanes. Use ’em or not? I’ve heard it’s safer just to ride in the regular lanes.