Memory's a funny thing and maybe I don't really remember things as they were. I thought, at my peak, I was doing 25 miles a day, 3-4 days a week. I'm not so sure anymore that that was true but I DO know that I had reached a point where I went looking for climbs. Don't remember how long they were -not very, I'd guess- or how steep -quite so, in many cases- but I went after them. That was 20 year and 30-40 fewer pounds ago.
Fast forward to now: 54 years old, struggling to keep it under 200lbs, a year back in the saddle and it hit me that I'm doing 10-15 (20 max. Once) miles a day, 3-4 days a week and I'm looking for the climbs. Oh gawd, they're hard -harder, I'm sure- but there I am, climbing on my hybrid (can't wait to try a roadie on our hills). If they're anything over a mile and 6 or 7%, I have to stop to catch my breath but I'm not backing down either. I also try to make at least half my ride some kind of climb. I take the hard way home. I try to make it harder. I'm picking climbs and taking them on the pedals all the way up; then I go back around and do it again. Why? Because I can! Life is grand. The only bad thing is that it takes time away from my playing. But I don't mind a bit 'cause I'm out riding. What could be better?
Meanwhile, I've dropped 20 of those 30-40 lbs and gone from a 40" waist to a 38 (almost 36)" waist.
Long live the bicycle.