Random observations from my first ride since Gerald Ford was president...
First, I can't believe what I've been missing all these years. This is a really cool sport. Compared to running, you get to cover so much more distance in a given amount of time, you have a nice breeze cooling you down, and the downhills are something you actually look forward to. These are all good things.
The dark side is that what goes down must come up, that is if you intend to finish your ride where you started. I had no idea that climbing takes that much power! Almost 30 years of running did absolutely nothing for developing the muscles necessary for climbing hills on a bike. For all the former runners out there - do you develop that strength fairly quickly in the quads? On almost every little upslope I was dropping gears faster than W is dropping in the polls.
Finally, a humble request for all you really fast riders. When you come upon some out of shape beginner like me huffing and puffing up a hill - at least have the courtesy to sound a little out of breath when you pass. Today some guy about 20 years younger on a really cool looking bike (Pinarello?) with Zipp wheels literally was by me before I heard him coming. Nice enough guy, but the casual way he said "Good Morning, beautiful day isn't it?" was just about enough to make me want to rip his lungs out. Okay, got that off my chest.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to many years in what seems to be a great sport.