I'm 58. Been riding off and on since the only energy drink was YooHoo. In the past few years, I've found myself noticing what I think is age: lower gears on hills, longer recovery from hard rides, instinctively going slower on descents, generally less power to push the bigger gears I did maybe 4 or 5 years ago, getting out of the saddle for lesser reasons, and so on. I also find myself not jumping every time a faster rider goes by....with few rueful feelings beyond a twinge of mild but not painful envy.
Reassuringly, my riding distances, my stamina, seems less affected. I just go slower. I don't mind that. Have to recognize age & mortality, etc. while at the same time not being intimidated by it. Happily, I still of course respond and improve with structured training after a layoff....though I notice I retain fitness not quite as well when I can't ride for a few weeks. I take as much, if not more, pleasure in riding...I appreciate the process as much as the achievement nowadays-- especially when I see my recliner-bound peers.
Question: are others here experiencing the same over-all curve? Your experience?
P.S. I enjoy the company of you guys (and girls) and check in to "Fifty Plus" at least once a day. Sometimes I get mildly smart-ass, but depend on Fox, Gee, Step, Far, Velo and others to keep a mature, steady hand on the keyboard.
I'm leaving in a few minutes to ride with a guy who has cystic fibrosis and all its accompanying complications. He wants to ride a metric in November. One nice thing about cycling is that I meet so many people "out there" and here that are just downright admirable.