I am not a smart man.


The plan was to ride out to Gateway Park, then to the end of the lake and back — about 100k.  Despite ever-present headwinds, Ben and I had a good ride.  When we finished, my legs still felt fresh so I decided to ride to Gateway again for some “bonus miles”.  Strike one…

At about 65 miles I realized that I needed fuel — I was starting to feel a little shaky.  For the day’s ride I had brought 2 Clif bars (which I ate in the first 50 miles) and 6 Shot Bloks for a total of 680 calories — WAY less than you need for a 4.5 hour ride.  A smart person would have turned around immediately and ended the day with a solid 72 mile ride and a power smoothie.  So of course I pushed on.  Strike two…

5 miles later I got a small cramp in my inner thigh.  This frustrates me because I’ve done lots of 12 hour days of climbing and hiking and have never had problems with cramping.  But something about cycling — probably the insanely repetitive motion — causes me problems from time to time, especially when I don’t eat or drink enough.  It always starts in right thigh and once it happens it’s too late to do anything about it.   [Side note:  I’ve come to believe that my saddle (a.k.a. “the a$$ hatchet”) contributes to the problem by restricting blood flow to critical appendages.]

So I turned around at mile 70, knowing I still had 12 miles to get home (including a gradual 2 mile climb at the end).  I found that if I stayed out of the saddle the cramp would abate, so I rode the next 10 miles that way (can you say “quad-burner”?).  Once I got off the trail, I only had a couple miles to the house but I was feeling pretty bad.  A smart person would have taken the easiest and most direct way home.  So of couse I decided to do the Rogers Ave. climb  “just for fun”.  Strike three…

Halfway up the climb, my right leg locked up and I knew it was game over.  Time to break out the iPhone and call in a rescue.  In my hypoglycemic haze I had trouble telling Megan how to get to a place only 1.5 miles from our house.

Lessons learned:

  1. 190 lb. rider + 80 miles = 6400 calories burned.  Must eat.
  2. Don’t be stupid.
  3. See #2.

2 thoughts on “I am not a smart man.

  1. I like the calorie calculator. Rock climbing burns more than I thought. Probably not on what you call “adventure routes” though. Just too bad that “Sex – active effort” doesn’t burn more calories.

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