Saturday's ride was great. I decided to go 16 miles instead of 20 because I want to increase gradually and not get ahead of myself before I'm ready (always thinking about the calves). It went well. I did it in 1:10. I remember when I started riding last year and it took me over an hour to do 10 miles. After last week's attempt at doing the hills out of the saddle, I tried it again this week but at a higher gear. It was still very tiring but at least the gear was right. Felt a bit uncomfortable on the seat all that time but that's just something to get used to and, thanks to the shorts, there was no soreness for Sunday's ride.
Later on Saturday I went and bought a bike rack for my car. I'm not planning on doing many (any, actually) training rides out of the area but it will allow me to use my car to take my bike to the shop or marathon fun rides instead of the van.
Sunday's ride was just the 10-mile loop but I did it in just 40 minutes (see above). Did the hill thing but this time I would pedal standing for five revolutions, then sit for about eight, then back up for five, etc. Still tiring but at least I could make it up the steepest hill without stopping (I had to stop and take a break yesterday). Progress, progress.
I would like to mention that I am keeping a close eye on my calves. Basically, whenever I can feel them, I get paranoidly worried. They seem to be recovering fine but I am feeling fatigue in them during the week. Part of this was the added strain of having them in boots so I have cut back on that. So far so good, though.