So with the unsuccessful bike commute behind me, I decided to bite the bullet and get a trainer.
The mechanical kind, that is. It's a smart trainer that pairs with a laptop or tablet and allows you to program in different levels of resistance that changes as you go along, which is really nice, and tracks how much power you're sweating out etc.
I've got it set up in front of the TV so I can keep myself entertained while I spin away going nowhere.
I might rearrange things a bit later, but for now this is pretty good.
Anyway, with a few months of riding this I should be able to build up my long ride endurance to the point where bike commuting will be much more realistic to do with my own legs. I was looking at this model on Amazon since it's a bit older and has dropped in price by quite a bit, but I managed to find a coworker selling one for half price so that was a no-brainer.
I still might get an e-bike but we'll see how I do.