New to the forum and haven't ridden a bike probably in 6 or 7 years. That's not the point though. School starts in a few weeks (Aug. 16) and I'm looking for a bike because of my relatively close distance to campus. I used MapQuest to assist me, and found that buy using major roads it's about 1.8 miles from my apt to the edge of campus. Not sure entirely how far it is to the farthest buildings, but I figure less than a quarter mile from where I searched. I've walked to campus a couple times already and its about 35 - 40 mins in Texas weather (read: hot). I'm interested in a bike because there's no point in buying a car when gas is $3.00 a gallon, and while public transportation can take me there in 10 minutes, it's not worth the $2.50 round trip a day. I have friends who can drop me off, but no need to be dependent.
Anyhow, I'm intrigued by getting a bike to use probably five days a week to commute that 2 miles or so. On average I'd probably ride no more than 25 miles a week, unless I got obsessed (which will probably happen). I'm really ignorant of bike knowledge, and I've spent some time browsing various forums and searching wikipedia to feign intelligence, but I honestly still feel over my head. I'm just wondering if anyone else who knows more than I do can help. I would rather buy a cheap Wal-mart bike, but every post I've read everywhere says to stay away from the cheap-o bikes, but the terrain is completely flat and the distance is not very far to warrant an incredibly expensive bike. However, I'm about 6''0, 330 lbs so I figure my body type would kill that kind of a bike, if not sooner then later. Anyhow, I'm terribly sorry for going on and on, but if anyone could advise some decent bikes to get for my size, I'd be appreciative. Oh, and as for budgets, probably anything more than $450 would break me. My optimal price point is probably $350 because I can make that in a paycheck and it won't break the bank. Thanks for any and all the help.