I was standing quite alone on an empty dirt road. I'd just biked up three of the hardest hills of my life, and was about halfway through the 30-mile route of Brattleboro, Vermont's 2018 Tour de Heifer.
I needed an iced coffee and didn't have much time, so I rolled up to the McDonald's drive-through and asked the robot-speaker-thingy for a small, with Splenda on the side. After a pause, a bored, distorted voice said, "Medium iced coffee. Anything else?"
“Hope you don’t mind waiting for me at the top of the hills; I barely slept last night.” “Well, you won’t have to worry about me—I haven’t ridden much this spring, so you’ll have to take it easy on me.”
Some variation of this conversation happens nearly every time two or more cyclists meet to ride.
You rounded the corner of 40 or 50 a few years ago, and, thinking little of it, you kept at your climbing, biking, or running with as much gusto as always. In the hazy corner of your vision, though, you’ve been noticing a loose network of aches and pains slowly amassing. They're sticking around, too, colonizing body parts in worrying ways.