I have ridden all my life, though there have been a few breaks of several years due to back troubles and ill health- actually 10 years. But my health began improving in 90 and when I moved to Guatemala in 96 I got a cheapo mountain bike of korean make for $125 that served me well enough. I still had my Fuji from the 70s but it was in Kentucky and I was not. I moved to the Mojave desert and fetched the Fuji to my side, where I began commuting to work, about a 10 miles round trip. The wind is fierce in the desert, and one time the ride home, only 5 miles and a slight downhill, took me 45 minutes in my lowest gear.
Presently I'm in Taiwan for a bit with a new Orbea Mitis Dama, which is a fine bike and wants to go fast! Unfortunately, my knees often complain about much of anything required of them, so I can't go nearly as far as muscles would like to go, yet I can still travel far enough to get tired, and to find joy. Nothing else is required.
The Orbea was a surprise to me. It turns out no one ever sold me a bike that was really small enough for my frame. This one is so small my feet catch the front tires if I turn too sharply, but the ease of handling more than compensates. Besides, its cute, and bouncy with its aluminum frame and carbon forks.
I prefer quiet rides with little traffic and the sweet smells of plant life. Hills are fun and challenging, but sometimes defeat me. It looks to me like hills can over-challenge my partners cardio-vascular system, so when we are together we avoid them, when there is a choice. When I'm by myself I compensate with lots of hills.
Sometime in the next 5 years I will either need a new knee, or knees, or to move to a place where daily swimming is a pleasure. Is that a tale of over 50, or what?