good @jwz collected bicycle wisdom http://j.mp/jwzbik. Re: #10 changing brake pads was easy/satisfying. longURL: http://jwz.org/blog/2008/05/the-collected-jwz-bicycle-wisdom and related post: ttk.me/t4DH5. Re: #7, rather than hardware store bolts, get locking bolts / skewers with a special key / allen wrench. It's a bit pricier but more convenient for pulling a wheel off to put your bike in a car. Re: #16 in particular, learn the Wiggle. Also, I'm pretty happy with the Specialized Sirrus hybrid I picked up for ~$500 from Cognition Cyclery (cognitioncyclery.com) last year (good service from them too).