We knew we wanted bicycles for fun and cheap transportation.
Emma found hers quickly. It's a crank-forward model, the Suede by Giant, that she bought from the local bike co-op, Hub. She wanted several gears, and she liked the crank-forward because it would put her a little closer to the ground, which would make her feel a bit more secure.
I was torn between getting an old beater that no one would want to steal, or an adult tricycle that would be great for hauling things, or a recumbent that would be easy on an over-50 body. But recumbents are expensive, trikes take up a lot of space, and beaters really aren't fun to look at or ride.
Then Emma spotted the Elektra Cruiser 1 at REI. I like the added ergonomics of the crank-forward and the simplicity of having a bike with only one gear. Its gear is a bit low, so when I'm in better biking shape I may change the sprocket to get a little more speed out of it. Or maybe not. It's good to go slower and see more.
Neither of these bikes are as cheap as something from Target or Walmart—without any extras, mine was about $275 with state tax, and Emma's was nearly $500—but we bought them with the intention of keeping them the rest of our lives.
I did a little googling for average bike prices, and concluded what we paid is reasonable for a well-made bike: