I consider myself a recreational cyclist although I ride more than most, over 5000 miles so far this year. I am a 55-year-old retired engineer and do most of my riding on local bike paths along the Erie Canal and Genesee River. The paths range from unpaved (stone dust) in good condition to paved in poor condition in spots. I have a 2003 Gary Fisher Zebrano hybrid and am quite happy with it.
I ride most days that weather allows (not in winter) but don't go on real long rides. I frequently take two rides in one day totaling over 50 miles. The most that I've ridden in one day is 66 miles.
The paths along the canal, particularly the unpaved section to the west, are about as flat as you can get. I do some moderate-speed road rides with friends and usually don't have much problem with moderate hills but generally prefer the paths.