This is me atop Page Mill; photo on Ilford B&W, hand developed:
Date? Summer 1992; spending a few weeks in Santa Clara.
I've just made it up Page Mill, the bike -my original mountain bike- is carrying about 6-8kg of surplus weight on the back.
Here's the scene again, this time on a digital camera that even knows where it is:
Date: Summer 2012; spending a few weeks in Sunnyvale.
The 6-8kg of surplus luggage has moved off the bike into my body, making it impossible for me to leave it behind on rest days; the fringe on my hair has moved back, and the sunglasses hide the fact I look more tired.
Otherwise, not much has visibly changed.
Except that climb up Page Mill on the first photo was followed by a ride all the way up Skyline, dropping down to the pacific coast side of San Francisco where I eventually turned up at my motel to discover that my reservation had been voided & because of some event in the city if I wanted somewhere to stay I would have to sprint over to the YMCA in that fairly rough part off Market -Tenderloin?- where before I could get a room the people in front were complaining they'd been robbed through a window on the third floor. Needless to say the bike came in the room. Estimated distance: 90-100 miles, 3000-5000' of ascent.
The next day: over into Marin, over Mt Tamalpais on an off-road trail, where I got to enjoy overtaking people who didn't have luggage, then over to Pt Reyes and the Youth Hostel there; 70-80 miles, 5000-6000' of ascent.
These days, up Pagemill then S. on Skyline before descending to Cupertino and home is enough for me to declare victory (50 miles; 3000' of up), where I can then settle down and drink a beer pretending to myself that I've earned it.
That's the difference.