tastewar here. I'm 44, been riding since forever, mostly road. I've been researching a couple of things lately, and these forums come up at least half the time with either the answer, or at least interesting ideas.
One of my current topics of interest is commuting. I've been commuting by bike to my work, 16.5 miles each way, once a week and in good weather only (sunny summer days). My current commuter bike is a 1991-ish Specialized Crossroads. It's certainly adequate to the task, but in the nearly 20 years I've had it, it's always felt improperly sized to me. Mostly, I'm riding in a pretty leaned over position, and for a 40-something rider, with a heavy topside, it's not the most comfortable thing for riding 16.5 miles. Hoping that a more comfortable ride will encourage me to do it more often.
So I've been toying with the idea of a new bike for the commute, and I've become enamored of internally geared hubs, belt drives, and disk brakes. I'm also liking dynamo hubs and fenders, of all things. The Tout-Terrain Metropolitan seems the epitome of all that is a commuter bike to me, though the Raleigh Alleyway has generally the right stuff, too, and at a significantly smaller price, but I can't find one to test ride anywhere around me. But it also seems like this is an expanding part of the market, so I am likely to hold off a year or so, and am attempting to make the Crossroads a bit more comfortable.
My other project is converting my 1981 Panasonic DX-2000 to a singlespeed/fixie. I've got the all-important wheels, with the White ENO eccentric rear hub, and am gradually gathering the rest of the parts. My current issue is trying to find a reasonably priced powder coater in the Boston, MA area. Will be posting more on that elsewhere in the fora.
The Panasonic was my 2nd bike ever. The first was a C. Itoh bought in the late seventies. It was about the cheapest bike available, and all I could afford. Bought in a bike shop in New Haven, CT, probably around $120. I started a project of re-painting that bike, but never got very far. All the components were pretty crummy. I hope to do better with the Panasonic. The Crossroads was my 3rd bike, and my current road bike is a Cannondale from around the same era as the Panasonic, though I bought that one used just a couple of years ago. I do all my own work on my bikes, and maintain the rest of the family's fleet as well.