You know those sculpted not an ounce of extra body fat legs on the Tour riders?
The only thing my legs have in common with those legs is that mine also reach the ground (when I'm not on a bike).
On the other hand, no one would even think to accuse me of using steroids (well, not male steroids or muscle building whatevers) or blood doping. Nor would anyone mistake me for a male in his prime in top athletic shape.
I went on a hilly ride today, short, but hilly. The Tour riders need not fear me in the polka dot jersey competition.
So here's something I've noticed: after I ride hard, especially climbing what counts as hills around here, my lungs feel really big for hours after. Normally, I don't think much about my lungs. But after a ride, big lungs!
On the other hand, riding up a hill, I must look pathetic, like I'm about to collapse or something, because I'm dripping sweat, breathing hard, bright red. But I'm getting much better at just keeping my legs peddling. I'm also getting braver about letting things go when I'm headed downhill. And that's fun!