Nice thread, guys. I've been a serious road cyclist for 20 years, still clocking 100+ miles a week at age 55. Austin is a cycling Mecca and we have some beautiful roads in Central Texas. The main complaint I have is that there are no long, high climbs (though many of the most challenging rides include up to a mile at 12-15% grade with ramps up to 20%). I still have my titanium Serotta with Dura Ace that I raced on up until ten years ago and last year bought a Trek Madone 5.9 SL, a super-light, super fast carbon fiber rocket. There's a closed loop, 3.1 mile paved bikeway through a pretty Hill Country setting just a few minutes from my house (and across the street from the National Wildflower Research Center) and I can do laps without worrying about traffic.
My favorite cycling experience was riding in Lance Armstrong's charity ride in 2006. About three miles from the end of a 60-mile ride I spotted Lance with a group of riders about a quarter mile ahead of me and I thought it would be cool to ride to the finish with Lance's group. I hauled ass to catch them and caught them at a stoplight, where a local sheriff's deputy was directing traffic and had stopped the cyclists so that a dump truck could turn left. The moment I came up on Lance's back wheel, he turned to me and said, "Let's run it!" I did what The Boss said and the two of us sprinted past the deputy and almost got taken out by the dump truck. So there I was, just me and Lance, nobody within several hundred yards in either direction. We chatted for a couple minutes, then he said, "Here comes my riding partner." Sheryl Crow rode up between us, looking like death. She must have busted her ass trying to keep up with Lance over those sixty miles, and I felt bad after encouraging her with a cheerful, "Kick it, girl!" Lance said his goodbyes to me, put his hand on the small of her back, and towed her in for the last couple miles. Most romantic thing I've ever seen, and I was truly sad when they broke up.
My second favorite cycling experience was riding with Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain the day before Lance's charity ride in 2000. I rode Eddy's wheel for five miles as the 55-year-old icon spun at about a 120 cadence. Notwithstanding that he was about 50 lbs overweight (from a stomach ailment that he has since recovered from), he kicked my skinny ass.
Here's a shot of me and Big Mig after our ride: