I'd like to get that magic bike that I can ride about an hour a week and lose 5 pounds per week but since that's not likely let's figure out what might be the best second choice. Hopefully I'll include all important data for selecting.
I am close enough to just go ahead and say I'm 56. I'm 5'9" and 235. I haven't ridden in close to 30 years. My hero is the tortoise not the hare. I will be riding mostly paved surfaces with maybe a little of crushed stone or similar. At this point I expect to mainly ride the neighborhood and around town with only a few to several miles per ride. Maybe some day I'll extend to the 25k/25mi segment of an organized ride. I can't see ever doing a century ride or similar.
Bikes. I want something suited to the above mentioned goals. I want something comfortable with a fairly upright riding position. I'm not interested in riding the drops anymore. Along with the bike I'd like to have a simple computer that will track my mileage and time. I have a Garmin Oregon I could take along if I wanted GPS for some reason so just a simple speedometer/odometer type. I want fenders in case I go out on a day like today that's gray with a 20% forecast so very unlikely to rain but surprises me. I want a kickstand. I want a decent lock and a decent helmet. I figure maybe $35, $45, $25, $40 and $75 in order for those things which is $220 leaving $650-700 for the bike.
So, am I on track with my estimates? What bike in the +/- $650 range gives the best quality for the money? Any I should be sure to avoid? Oh, and I'm figuring all that before sales tax. Oh, and I plan to buy from a LBS so no mail order only items. Thanks for any and all input.