I've been riding around on an old clunker department store bicycle for the last five years or so, which I've never liked but have always considered adequate for a guy who doesn't ride as much. Lately, however, I've really been getting into riding, and I'm enjoying going for longer and longer rides on the road. I'd like to move up to a nicer bike that I'll enjoy riding more and that will perform better.
I've been into both local bike stores in my area; one place deals mostly in Treks, the other mostly in Bianchis.
I'm looking for a hybrid that's moderately light, suitable for decent distance road rides (20-ish miles), but could also handle dirt/gravel roads and such, preferably not much more than $500. So far, I'm comparing the Trek FX 7.2 or 7.3, and the Bianchi Cortina. I really like both and could see myself happy with either of those. I understand both are well-made machines, so I just wanted to hear any advice, insights or technical info you guys might have that would influence me one way or the other. Thanks!