Monday, September 12, 2011

Biking - An almost half-century...

Every year, the weekend after Labor Day is the Mohawk-Hudson Cycling Club's annual Century Weekend. There are rides each day of 100, 62, 50, and 25 miles, with rest stops, SAG support, and a good feed afterwards. I usually ride the metric century (100km, 62 miles), but this year didn't really feel up to that, so opted for the 50-miler instead, riding on Sunday. I was riding with a new friend Phil, whom I'd never met, but who turned out to be a very compatible and companionable fellow rider. There was a new route this year, so I didn't really know what to expect, and no route profile was provided. I worked this one up afterwards:

To cut to the chase, the cramps that had only taunted and threatened on last month's ADK Ididaride hit home in a big way on this ride, and at about the same 45-mile distance as on that earlier ride. On a small uphill rise, my quads began to spasm and throb, and finally locked up to the point where I could not even bend my knees. When Phil heard me screaming in agony, he came back and helped me off the bike so I could try to stretch things out and continue on. I managed to get in another mile, but started to lock up again, and I knew I could never make it another 5-7 miles to the finish in this condition. So I made the embarrassing call to the SAG vehicle for a pickup, my first ever. (Well, the second actually. I once called my father after about 120 miles into a 130-mile ride. The problem then wasn't cramps, but darkness. The year was 1973, and I was younger then.)

Anyway, I rejoined Phil at the post-ride feast, and finished off an enjoyable day, despite the cramping issues. Though I was certainly well-hydrated, there were apparently not enough electrolytes, despite several quarts of Gatorade. And it was only about 70F, so I'm still a little mystified. Need to figure this one out...

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