I suppose I'm an amatuer in these things. This is my Trek Shift 1 bike:
In carbon (the paint color, as it is an alloy frame), fitted with a rear rack and a double nylon ripstop pannier bags for fetching groceries. It also has puncture-resistant Kevlar-belted tires that are decent on dirt paths and gravel trails. It was manufactured in my kid's home town in Madison, WI. Best feature: this $460 bike (2013 model year retail price) was free, my 30-year employee gift from HP.
Yes, this is a comfortable "cruiser bike" with fat tires and only a 7-speed rear end. It mostly gets used for 2-mile or 8-mile round trips depending upon which grocery store I am going to, or a 2-mile round trip to the pharmacy, or a 3-mile round trip to the hardware store. But I do also take it to Moab where it fetches groceries and takes me to the bathroom and back, from the cheaper tent sites "way in the back" of the campground.
I have reduced my Jeep usage to less than 1000 miles per year, compared to 11,000 miles in the beginning while still working. However, I'm cheating - the biggest reduction came about when I retired. Sometimes I take the bike to the lightrail station and ride from the train, on a variety of trails in the greater San Jose area.
I admit, most miles on the bike are less than 10 mile trips - but I'm 65, slowly losing excess weight and getting in better shape.
Sorry I missed answering your post. Hey any bike is great when ya ride it, and any amount of miles are great! After all my surgeries on my back, neck, ankle, shoulder, I did not think I would be able to ride, mainly because my legs will get numb and collapse after walking.
I've always biked and I slowly got stronger over a several years, so I built a steel bike, rode it for about a year, started out riding 10, then 20, 30, 40, 50, 60,80 miles. I have learned what fuels my body good, strangely enough if I eat potato's the day before I feel great. Depending on the ride I will take a Clif bar with me, eat half, then eat the other half. The ride length determines how many bars I bring. Ib the hot sunner, I will take a Clif Gel, and a bar with me. I'm careful with the Gels, they are quick energy.
Anyway, just keep at it! Oh forgot, My carbon bike I built last spring and that's what I ride on the streets.