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Old 05-21-12, 10:25 AM   #1
rdtompki
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Missed a great Post-ride Meal

Wife and I did a very tough 65 mile ride yesterday on the tandem. The rest stops were very nice with the first being at the Calfee shop. The last rest stop at 50 miles was at the Gizdich orchard, world-renowned for fabulous home made pies: fruit, apple pie slices, crepes (yes, crepes), genuine apple juice, etc. A four mile climb shortly after had my legs thinking about cramping, but we had what I assumed to be a great last lunch stop at mile 60. We had to leave the course for the lunch stop to climb up toward Aptos HS. I couldn't climb any longer so we walked a steep, short pitch to what I thought would be lunch.

Surprise: we weren't there yet. In fact, we faced a short steep downhill followed by a steep 1/4+ mile uphill. Pushing a tandem uphill when you're cramped up is no fun so no lunch for us. Definitely a bummer, but at least we only had to walk a bit on the way back.

I've traveled the last two weeks cutting out any mid-week riding, but I don't think that's the cause of the cramps. Rather, the 4100' of climb consists mostly of shorter steep pitches which can really tax us on the tandem; at one point the grade hit 16% plus, but we made it up in our 24-36 gear. It's those really hard efforts that eventual precipitate cramps in my experience.

We'll probably do the ride next year with a small shortcut that skips the last long climb, but still hits all the rest stops and I'll have plenty left to get us up to lunch! After all, it's all about the food.
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Old 05-21-12, 11:11 AM   #2
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So did you at least return to the pie shoppe and pick one up? For after todays recovery ride, of course.
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Old 05-21-12, 11:17 AM   #3
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You don't know the yellow mustard trip when cramping? Eat a fast food packet or two when cramping - it often will eliminate the problem and they're easy to carry.
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Old 05-21-12, 11:49 AM   #4
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You don't know the yellow mustard trip when cramping? Eat a fast food packet or two when cramping - it often will eliminate the problem and they're easy to carry.
I used the Tums trick which does help. Would have been fine on the flats or 5-6% climbs, but the effort required on anything steeper would immediately kick the cramps off.
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Old 05-22-12, 02:32 AM   #5
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Yes, those cramps can be nasty, although the worst I've had was on a single on what I thought was going to be an OK populaire type of ride. How was your rehydration rate, and did you have anything like Enduralytes?

One of the major issues when climbing a lot like that on a tandem is that because I am controlling the bike, I am concentrating on keeping a line at low speed and really, there isn't any opportunity to grab the bottle and drink enough. To an extent, that means planning ahead and getting as much fluid in as possible. But it doesn't always work that way.

Having heart rate monitors helps because we can moderate and syncrhonise our efforts, although we don't wear the HRMs as often as we should.
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Old 05-22-12, 10:15 AM   #6
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Yes, those cramps can be nasty, although the worst I've had was on a single on what I thought was going to be an OK populaire type of ride. How was your rehydration rate, and did you have anything like Enduralytes?

One of the major issues when climbing a lot like that on a tandem is that because I am controlling the bike, I am concentrating on keeping a line at low speed and really, there isn't any opportunity to grab the bottle and drink enough. To an extent, that means planning ahead and getting as much fluid in as possible. But it doesn't always work that way.

Having heart rate monitors helps because we can moderate and syncrhonise our efforts, although we don't wear the HRMs as often as we should.
Hydration was "ok", but even with side-loader WB cages it was hard to drink on the longish climb at 50 miles, a 45 minute effort I would think. At a recent event with an 8 mile climb we used our Camelbaks just to improve hydration, but I didn't anticipate how tired (translation = slow) we would be on the 3.5 mile climb, nor did I anticipate the temps: not bad mind you, but warmer than expected.

I have used at times Nuun tablets and Enduralytes with some success and might start using them again. Interestingly, the muscles that start to cramp are the inner thigh muscles which are picking up the slack when the larger muscles in the quad are beat up; still, I would have been fine without the darn steep pitches to the lunch stop

I use a HRM and was pleased with the effort I was able to sustain. I ask my stoker to give what she's got and I can hear her breathing in my headset so no loafing going on back there; if it's a short, steep pitch I'll let her know to crank it up a bit. I'm going to be doing a lot more climbing this summer on my single so I believe our tandem climbing will improve further.

It's all good whether it hurts or not although I do sometimes wonder about the value of character building at my advanced age.
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