Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Bikes: a lowrider BMX, a mountain bike, a faired recumbent, and a loaded touring bike
There are many things to consider.
First, I don't think "one" bike is enough. Myself, I have like five bikes, each a different kind of bike, and I choose the one that's best for todays ride.
You might want to have BOTH a mountain bike and a road bike. Maybe one of your bikes should be an electric bike, with a small motor. There are other kinds of bikes too, such as a recumbent, where the rider sits very low. Maybe you want one bike equipped with fenders for wet weather. Maybe another bike equiped with baskets to go grocery shopping.
Second, it's important that each of your bikes is the right size for you.
And maybe you should get a Ladies Bicycle. The Ladies Bicycle is easier to dismount, if you find yourself in a pinch with a car coming towards you, and of course it allows you to wear a skirt. The best Ladies Bikes made today are marketted under the name of "Comfort Bicycles". Look for a large frame tube diameter, two inches or more.
My advice is to get a Ladies "Comfort" Bicycle as your first bike. Later, depending on what kind of riding you do, get a Mountain Bike with more gears and treaded tires, OR get a road bike, with skinny tires for faster speed and easier pedalling on the roads. When you get you second bike, equip the Ladies Comfort Bike with baskets and use it as you Utility or Errand Running bike.