I tend to "push it" when I go for a ride. Pretty much ride solo. The past few years, most of my "average moving speeds" have been between 15 mph and 16 mph, (unless a century ride or a particularly hilly route). This year, I wanted to up that to between 17-18 mph. So far, so good. On really windy days or when there is a lot of climbing, I miss my goal. Otherwise, not too bad.
But ... my legs are really sore for several hours afterward and it takes me a day or two to fully recover, depending on how long I ride. I used to stretch in high school when I ran hurdles, (had to be really flexible for those stupid hurdles - still have scars on my kneecaps), but no real stretching since then. Have always been active in either competitive skating and tennis, or recreational kayaking and cycling; but have never been injured from any physical activity, (only exception was a separated shoulder due to an awkward fall while chasing a foul ball in a softball game - missed it too, off the tip of my glove). Just lately I've been sore from cycling.
Am I just getting old, (60), and have to accept this soreness ... or is there something I should be doing, like stretching before and afterward? I'm rarely sick and almost never injured ... just getting tired of my legs aching when walking up flights of stairs here at work. Diet is fairly healthy, but as with all of us, it could probably be better.
Do any of you get sore after riding? And if so, what do you do about it?