Some background information on myself before I get to the question:
I've decided to get in to cycling both as a hobby and because I need the activity. (Though I'm honestly driven more by the former - I've always enjoyed riding since I was a kid.) I already have a bike that seems decent to me (for someone in my position), but I'm also a newcomer and don't know that much. It's a 2004 Cannondale R800. When I was about 15, my dad and I each got one to start together. Long story short, we had some demotivating initial experiences with the clipless pedals, moved shortly after, and soon the bikes were (sadly) forgotten.
Now (~6 years later), I'm looking to actually get into it, and it seems that there is a lot of "essential" gear I should buy. I have somewhat limited funds (as a student), and can't do it all at once, so was hoping for some guidance in both what I absolutely need to get, and what would be more ancillary. Also, recommendations on around how much I should be spending on different items would be helpful. For example, I know headlights can run anywhere from $10-$1000+, but I don't know what the sweet spots between performance and value are.
I live in a fairly rural environment in a university town of ~21k people. There is a decent bike shop in town considering the size, however their focus is much more casual/ kid-oriented.
What I do have:
- Jersey (longsleeve + shortsleeve)
- Cycling Shorts
- Cycling Shoes
- (Small) Saddle Bag
- Emergency Patch Kit
Things I don't have, but are on my radar to acquire (at some point):
- Headlights / Taillights
- Cycling computer / heart monitor (I do have an Android phone that I know can facilitate this point.)
- Additional clothing, though nothing particular at the moment
- Tool kit
I'd like to be fairly serious about it, though training for self-improvement, not competition. I'm planning to gear up to riding my first century this September.
Tell me if there's any more information I need to add, and, thanks!