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.