Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Columbus, OH
Bikes: Yuba Mundo; Early 70's Free Spirit (Reynolds 531) fixie; 80's Shogun 500; Mid 90's Iron Horse tandem; trailer and tag-a-long; Schwinn Range for commuting, with lights and front and rear racks.
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One thing about "road bikes:" Many people use the term to refer to any bicycle that doesn't have flat handlebars. People here tend to use it in a more specific way to refer to a bicycle designed (or that is supposed to make you think it's designed) for road racing. This would exclude touring bikes, cyclocross bikes, commuting bikes, single-speeds with drops, etc., all of which would be called "road bicycles" by non-cyclists. And some of these might serve your purposes better than a hybrid.
And as above, you can always put smooth tires on a mountain bike, which makes it a lot more versatile and comfortable.
If you don't know anybody to give you advice, a bicycle shop is the place to start, but it is a good idea to get some idea what you want first. Perhaps you could even borrow a bicycle from a friend to try out for a few weeks. You might find riding on the road is better than you think, or that you want to try more serious mountain bike trails.