I wrote to the head of the Novara team at REI to see if I could find out some of the history of the Novara Buzz urban commuters.
The Buzz was introduced in 2000 with "V" brakes and 26 inch wheels (I believe). In 2002 the Big Buzz was introduced (Big because of the 700 wheels). As I understand it the Buzz is the combination of a road bike and a flat-bar commuter (kinda styled after a mountain bike).
The urban commuter bike seems like a fairly new niche compared to cruiser, classic, mountain and road bikes. I'm looking forward to getting more info on the bike and more specifically the urban commuter bike.
I got a little side tracked trying out a new route this evening...it can be challenging in the evening. I had to lock up my brakes and leave some rubber stopping for a car that pulled in front of me to leave a gas station. Look before you go people!
Over 10 miles today. They keep adding up.