I finally had the chance yesterday to try out the beautiful Christmas present from my wife: a 2009 Jamis Aurora. What a magnificent bike, so different from the many I have ridden in my cycling life!
Oddly shaped, at least compared with my "other" road bike the Aurora is the Subaru Forester of bicycles: rutted roads don't scare her, it flies over everything, handles very well. In part this might be due to the 28mm. Vittoria Randonneur tires it comes equipped with, in part to the almost upright riding position of the traditional geometry frame. One thing is sure: there is nothing more comfortable than steel bikes!
Sure, it might not be the bike for sudden uphill sprints, especially at over 27lbs. "naked." However, with the generous gearing provided (30x32 is the lowest!) it's enough to point it at a hill to be sure that, sooner or later, one will get to the top. Exceptional comfort, and payload too: the bike comes with all the possible braze-ons and eyelets for cargo racks and panniers. It's my intention of make of this beauty my main transportation for my daily commute, shopping, and why not, vacation. I'm looking into my first multi-day tour, a dream I had since I was way too young to ride around by myself.
Some initial pictures below: