My neighbor had a couple of bikes in storage and asked me to take a look to see if I could do something with them. It took less than a minute to decide that they were both junk. I stripped one down to the frame and am looking into making a single speed out of it. The first stop is to bring the rear wheel to my LBS and see if it can be cleaned up and converted.
I need to learn how to do everything and am going to ask the LBS to take me in as a paying student and rebuild the bike at the shop. I know bikes are a simple machine and once someone shows me how the thing is put together, I'll be fine and do the second one on my own. In the mean time I just may have a decent single speed for putzing around.