As one more long group ride approaches (only a couple a year for me these days) I find myself, amid the usual excitement and anticipation, strangely apprehensive this time around. It's not the usual butterflies in the belly, or worry about something going wrong though. It's the sure and certain knowledge that bodily, I'm not as up for it as I once was. It may be that I've ridden through the mental softness of youth into the tempered years of middle age, but I've now crested that brow. I'm on the downhill for sure and my frame is telling me that in no uncertain terms. Even last weekend a simple freeway hike of 200+km ended in piercing neck pains. I can't blame the bike, the riding position is as upright as it's going the get. The seat is fine. So it's got to be me ol' bones, dunnit? Don't bother telling me to HTFU, I'll do that myself thanks. I'm interested in what strategies the other older folk here use to ease them through the longer days. Or even if you're younger and have 'issues' that require you to adapt. How do you either get yourself ride fit, or manage creeping infirmity as you put in the big miles? All responses/issues welcome, but cures for neck pain especially so.