Just get out there and ride! Don't need lycra or special shoes. A helmet is optional...your choice.
I am just a guy with a love of the bicycle and a firm believer it is a viable form of transportation. The bicycle is an amazing invention. It allows a small human to transport a large load over long distances easily. It is THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT FORM OF TRANSPORTATION...PERIOD!!!
When I get a new to me bike, one of the first things I do is a quick and dirty ride around the block just to see what works and what doesn't. Next thing up is usually a complete tear down, cleaning and parts inspection.
Most of the bikes I buy are in need of TLC, some are worse than others. One thing I enjoy doing is bringing old dull parts back to life, in most cases, especially with the old heavy chrome a bit of cleaning and polishing is all it needs. These are the brakes off of the AMF Hercules that I am rebuilding for my sister to ride. The brakes themselves are fine, they just need new pads and cables. It is amazing how much nicer they look.
The AMF Hercules is progressing, I am almost done with the clean up of the parts, and have started reassembling things. Repacked the headset and the bottom bracket yesterday.
On another note: The Staiger has gone to live with my DD in Western Massachusetts as a commuter bike, if all goes well it will travel with her to Keene, NH as she returns to grad school.