Phil here. I'm riding again. My old Ritchey came off the wall about a year ago and hasn't been hung up since. Not a ton of riding, but more every week. The other night I found a 2 year-old Surly Cross Check on Craigslist; it followed me home. We we went for a ride yesterday . . . I like it.
Anyway, I've been away from riding for a few (12) years and am in the dark(ish) regarding bike culture and gear. I worked in bike shops, on and off, for 15 years, last in 1995. At that time I had a daughter about to enter college and needed to earn more money. I've been repairing high-tech automated manufacturing equipment since. The pay is nice, but the work environment leave a bit to be desired. If you work in semicondutor mfg you know what I mean.
Commuting was something I did and enjoyed for a long time. Again, gave it up but am getting back to it. Used to to MTB touring when I lived in SoCal. Road from my house in Huntington Beach down to Newport, hopping the ferry to Catalina for a week of island camping and riding. Not sure that's allowed anymore. In any event, I'm happy to be back on the bike. Phil out.