I presently own a 36 year old 3 speed. Never owned anything else but 3 speed.
Practically lived on my first bicycle from 11-15, when I wasn't playing ball.
I would be scared to ride the kamikaze way today that I rode then. Down steep semi busy streets at speeds of almost 50K, no helmet, no brains. Rode up the same hills, most in 3rd gear because my gears were always messing up.
When I was 14, I beat a semi up a 4 long block hill. Of course he must have been loaded, pun intended
There are tons of SOBI bike racks all over the downtown and west end of the city into Dundas. One of the racks is directly in front of my condo downtown - another is in the plaza in Dundas the travel agency I work at is located - so on most days April - October I ride the 6.5 km between home and work.
One of the advantages is if it is raining in the morning and I bus into work - I can ride home after work or vice versa.
I also have been known to ride the 4+ km from my place to THF for Ti-Cats games along the Cannon Street dedicated bike lanes. It seems a bunch of others do the same based on how many of the SOBI bikes you will find in the racks at THF and those within a few blocks of the stadium during Cats games.
In the city I ride a new Schwinn 7 spd fat tire bike. Great for all conditions including winter riding. At the lake I ride a Jeep Commando dual suspension 21 spd mountain bike. The thing is 16yrs old and still rides like new. Both bikes have 26" rims IIRC.
I've got a shoulder injury from boxing keeping me off of it, but I ride a Kona Jake as my do-anything bike. Cyclocross frames are a really good compromise between a road bike and something that can handle a bit of offroading.
The handle bar is almost straight but does curve back a little bit towards the rider. Maybe 10 degrees or so. The mountain bike however is straight. My shoulders get a bit sore on the straight bar on a long ride vs the slightly curved bar