Ok, the title was to get your attention, not necessarily based on facts.
Here's the deal. I've been riding seriously for three years. I ride 100-150 miles /week. I can ride 18 mph all day long. I can do 20-21 mph for quite a while when I am feeling good. I am 60 years old.
On Saturday, I went on a 50 mile ride on a beautiful day with a large local club. I got caught up riding with the A group. At mile 10, we were running 22+ mph pace line. At mile 15, we were doing 23-24 mph. I could feel myself melting down and dreaded moving into position when I would have to pull the line. That never came. My left side was cramping and I had to back off. I stopped for a rest, then picked up riding with 2 guys at 20 mph. I found myself weaving and having trouble keeping a straight line. I stopped at the 25 mile rest stop and ate a little and drank a little. I was drinking in a rhythm that always worked for me (drink water every 20 min, a Succeed electrolyte tablet every hour in cool weather).
Back on the road at mile 25, I slowed way down as I hit a fierce headwind. My bike mysteriously shifted and I looked down to discover my right hand was "laying there" and forced a shift. This happened three more times, and I knew I was done. I hailed the SAG wagon for the first time ever and asked to be taken in.
Back at the starting point, I found myself weaving around and repeatedly dropped my car keys from my right hand. I managed to get home and my wife demanded we call a doctor when she heard my voice slurring.
After two days of exhaustive tests, we now know I suffered a cerebral hemhorrage caused by blood pressure spike induced by extreme exercise stress.
I am very lucky. I have mild numbness all along my right side but nothing dysfunctional. The doctors believe I will recover completely with no damage and I will be back riding in a month or so. I came home from the hospital today and I am typing this myself (with a mild bit of difficulty).
Lessons I may have learned:
1. Pay attention to your blood pressure medication if you take it and monitor BP regularly.
2. No matter how great you feel, or how young your friends tell you that you are, you just might be a bit more age worn than you think you are. Be careful.
All constructive comments and discussion are welcome.