A little background.....I'm about to turn 67 and although my ideal cycling weight is 175-180 lbs. I'm currently around 193 lbs. Thanks to a change in diet I'm also riding better than I have in the past 10 yrs. Significantly stronger on hills despite my weight.
Yesterday my gf and I did a B group club ride for Memorial Day. We have been averaging about 75 mi. per week which is less than last year and due to some sporadic weather around here. Our longest ride had been 40 mi. Yesterday's ride was 65 mi. and throughout I felt confident and strong...climbing in the middle of the pack (In years gone by I would have been last) and easily spinning over 100 rpm. The ride itself was pretty hilly with one climb (Rattlesnake Ledge rd.) being a real killer. It's a well know and dreaded hill. This fell at about 40 mi. into the ride. I just paced myself and did very well. I seem to recover well and was good to go about a minute after the crest. At about mile 50 I could tell that my body was getting worn so I just continued to spin and felt fine. At mile 55 we were beginning the home stretch into some rolling hills that start with a short but steep climb of no more than a couple hundred feet. I stood to pedal and my quads were on the edge of spasm. I knew there wasn't going to be anymore standing or pushing on even minor rises so I just sat spinning. But, I was slowly falling off the back. About 5 mi. from finish the ride leader (and friend) came back and rode the rest of the way with me. Pushing on any thing that even resembled a rise was not happening. When we finished (about 5 minutes after the group) I did not feel particularly tired or winded. I ate well during the ride and I carry 4 bottles of water with Gu Brew in each. I theorize that the extra weight just wore my legs down over so many miles but was wondering if there's something else I could have done to save my legs.