I was organizing my Garmin data from this year's rides. I didn't ride at all last year, and this is my first year with the Garmin. I began riding again in late January after getting clearance from my elbow doctor.
Anyway, on March 19 it recorded a max HR of 187 at the very top of a steep hill we climb on the Monday ride. This was news to me; I thought my max was 182!
Five months (and 1400+ miles) later (not including miles on the spin bike at the gym ), my HR at the top of that same hill, with a faster group, on warm summer mornings, is now 177. And I expect to see it much lower next year.
I am a data junkie and one of the things I like most about the Garmin is watching my HR drop as I put on more miles. I don't have to wonder or guess or stop to count my pulse. I don't let it interfere with my rides, I just let it record so I can check the data later.