Hello from Greece.
My name is Vangelis, iwas born in Athens Greece 48 years ago and I still live in Athens.
I have found in riding a bicycle the ability to maintain my physical status in terms of cardiovascular health and general fittness. I dare say I do a lot of riding....A total of some 5000 Km In 2006.
It is nice to know that you share so many things with so many people so far away...
I dont know how relevant to your's my experiences are and will be since Greece is a different bicycle culture and a different market...
But...I understand many things you discuss, I use some of the equipment you are using and I even light my way at night with a USA built system (niterider).
I do all kinds of biking
I own an old GT arrowhead (whichis now a backup bike)
I also have an IDEAL ( greek made MTB no suspension ) in the summer cotage.
All my evryday bicycles are european...
I commute on a Brompton folder.(UK)
I ride mountain XC and all mountain routes with a Niclai Helius CC.(Germany)
I tandem with my wife on a Thorn Raven Twin (UK)
I just finished on my first 200Km Brevet on my Thorn Cyclosportif.
I am looking forward to learn from your discussions and contribute my small experience to the forum.