This weekend, I got back on the 'bent for the first time since the EM1240; I was leading a Dirty Dozen scouting ride, specifically over Sycamore, Welsh Way, Barry-Holt-Eleanor, and Flowers-Tesla.
The first good thing I realized was that, although I'd been off the bike for everything other than commuting for the last few weeks, my legs were in far better shape than I expected. Don't get me wrong, I still climb like a depressed tortoise; but I was a depressed tortoise who wasn't in great pain, even on the last bit of Eleanor. I'm not sure exactly what the difference may be between now and last year; I've got a few more miles in my legs, but I suspect that riding the Bianchi in faux-singlespeed mode for the last couple of months has done good things for my body.
The second good thing I realized, even more importantly, was that I did a measly 28 miles, and had a really good time. I've been doing distance stuff for so long that, well, anything under 100K just doesn't seem like a Real Ride™. It was amazingly refreshing to go out and ride for a couple of hours, have a great time, then go home and have an entire day to spend with family and friends.
I must be getting soft in my old age.