A couple people asked me what kind of bike I ended up getting, so I figured I'd just answer en masse: A KHS Flite 220 road bike in the color of 'blue steel' (I kid you not, but I didn't know that was the name of the color 'til just now).
I was specifically looking for a bike that would get me through the 2-mile trip from my new house to downtown on a regular basis because I hate, hate, hate having to park in our downtown garages. I could have gotten just about anything for that, but when I started getting into this whole triathlon bit, I decided I wanted to go ahead and get a nice, light, portable road bike, though I wanted a low-end one. While I'm pretty sure I want to make sprint triathlons a permanent part of my life, I don't intend to do any major distances or get super-competitive about these races.
I trolled Craigslist for about a week and a half and found nothing that suited me. Bikes in Knoxville on Craigslist tend to be limited to hefty mountain bikes or bikes that needed some serious repair work. I made a round of the local bike shops and discovered one major limiting factor in bike selection: my 5-foot-3 frame. Most stores only had about two bikes apiece that fit pint-sized me.
I fell in love with the Flite the first block I made on it. (Keeping in mind I know very little about bikes,) the ride is solid, and it shifts so smoothly. I hardly feel like I'm working when I'm on it. And the price, though still more than I wanted to pay, wasn't outrageous compared to the cost of most of the new road bikes I saw. The only thing I hate, of course, is the seat, so I'll probably be searching for a seat cover this weekend. I think it's also finally time to invest in some triathlon-specific shorts with the extra padding :)