There’s a saying among cyclists that goes, “There’s no such thing as a bad day on a bike.” Well, today proved that saying wrong for me.
This morning, Ken and I participated in the 22nd Annual Cow Creek Country Classic in Waxahachie. It’s the first organized ride I’ve done since the DFW MS-150. The ride started out fine — I got in a good group and despite a strong headwind and chipseal roads we made pretty good time. The group eventually blew up in the rolling hills and I stopped at around 40 miles to refuel (Note: I later realized I had only drank 1.5 bottles through that point).
The next 15 miles were pretty tough due to the wind, but I finally reached the point where the route turned south with the wind. I was looking forward to a quick tailwind-assisted ride back to Wax and even had a chance at finishing with an average over 20mph. But then at 60 miles my right leg started cramping. I’ve had cramps before, but usually they go away if I stretch a bit. This time the cramp just kept getting worse no matter what I did. I tried twice to continue but eventally my leg seized up into a permanent cramp. For a couple minutes I was laying on the side of the highway in pretty intense pain.
Eventually help arrived. I never envisioned myself crossing the finish line while sitting on an ice chest in the back of a SAG truck, but there I was on the ride of shame. This was my first, and hopefully last, SAG experience! My leg continued to cramp for the next hour, but eventually the muscles relaxed.
Judging from the headache I have now and the fact that I was 5 pounds lighter than normal when I got home (after trying to rehydrate), I think the cramps were a combination of dehydration and lack of training (I haven’t ridden more than 50 miles in almost two months). I also think I have a tendency to lose excessive salt, so I’m going to check into some sort of salt pill or supplement.
There is some good news though — Ken, who has only been riding for a couple of months, finished strong. Congrats, Ken!