I almost feel dumb asking this question, but I don't know if the difference really adds up to all that much for a new rider - I've been riding for about a month. For now, I'm just focusing on building up endurance for when I go back to America. Aiming for a decent speed on some of these roads, and the traffic that comes with them, would be stupid at my current lack of skill and finesse.
Most of the roads I ride on look like this
with accompanying pot-holes, ditches, fallen tree branches, etc. Many of the inner-city roads like this have a lot of traffic and public commute that keeps me from safely reaching faster speeds (unless I go during the quiet hours, such as when this picture was taken).
Normally, I would assume a road-bike would be just fine for this. However, a couple days a week, I like to go on rougher roads like...
You have the smaller "mini-lanes" to the side, but those are small and oftentimes have slower riders on them, which forces me to use the rockroads if I want to continue pushing myself. Would a road-bike be able to handle this?
And I'm working on this road right now. If there's one road that demands an off-road bike, I think it's this one.
But if a road bike would suit my needs better, I'd be willing to forego this little pet-project since I doubt I'll find roads and views like this in America. I could always come back and try again with a better bike.
So would you get a road bike or a mountain bike? What I have right now is a mountain-bike, but it's be rather easy to trade it in. I just don't want to be training with the wrong tool if it'll somehow hinder my growth in the sport.
Thanks for putting up with questions from a new biker