I've never cycled before. I do a lot of walking and hiking but fancy a change from the usual places I walk plus leaving the car at home for the daily commute. There's plenty of scenic routes near me as well that lead to places good for hiking too. I have in my head as well about doing weekend rides, riding out and staying in B&Bs along the way. Riding will be nearly all on road with some tarmac greenways and towpaths. I will buying through Cycle To Work scheme. I am currently based in Belfast and Newry and would be using shops from either city. I've been in a few local shops. Two had the Specialized Sirrus Elite and one had the Marin Fairfax. They seem fairly similar in spec, maybe with the Marin edging it. Not that it really matters but I also prefer the look of the Marin. Both allow panniers, should I do weekend rides, and mudguards. Will the Marin be capable of handling the uses I have described above? It seems to be flexible enough to handle most types of riding so i can see what I enjoy the most. I may never bother with weekend rides so my next bike could be an out and out road bike. Plus, if I don't ride a huge amount, I haven't bought a massively expensive bike. As for accessories, I'm thinking helmet, lock, mudguards, saddle bag with spare inner tubes and multi-tool, water bottle and holder and pannier racks. I'll buy the pannier bags at a later date when/if I decide to do weekend rides. I regularly do 15 - 20 mile hikes through the mountains. Looking at cycling route websites there's plenty of 30 - 50 mile routes near me, even a great looking one round a coastal pennisula at 70 miles. Are these feasible routes for me to build up to using the Marin? Bit of a long winded post there but essentially what I'm asking is, is the Marin Fairfax a decent bike for what I as a beginner am looking to do and have I got the right accessories to start with? Anything I should consider instead? Cheers!