Well… I decided to take the plunge and purchase a new bike!!
Presenting my 20 year old Fuji Vantage CX Hybrid. The previous owner converted it to a 6 speed. It’s extremely lightweight, has a rack on the back as well as a water bottle holder. Yesterday when I was at a local shop checking out bikes, the owner told me that most women ride men’s style bikes now so that most bikes come in unisex or step through, but only people who put babies on the back buy the step through. So men’s bike it is.
And all of this for the extremely budget friendly price of $60! I doubt it’s the world’s best bike and am sure if I keep up with the bike riding I’ll upgrade. But I think it’ll fit with what I want to use it for right now very nicely.