The main problem with OP choosing the bike is that he plans initially to use it for 5-6 mile rides and then eventually increase to 25 mile trips.
Herein lies the problem: for short trips you don't need anything fancy, something from your local walmart should work.
Riding a bike for 25 miles is no easy feat and goes into a totally different price range and configuration. It needs to be light, suited to your body geometry, no luggage racks etc.
For short trips (up to 12...