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I didn't get yelled at...

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

I didn't get yelled at...

Old 08-07-10, 08:21 PM
  #1  
adamscott
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I didn't get yelled at...

I did my first group ride today 140km (87mi), I was a little concerned that they would be a bunch of road nazis that would yell at me for every little newbie mistake that I made. Turns out that they are a great group of guys, and I didn't get yelled at once. They dropped me just before the rest stop, but I quickly caught up once everyone pulled over. I got dropped again on some hills on the way back, so a couple of the stronger riders dropped back to help pull me back to the group. All in all a great ride, and hopefully I can join them again in a couple of weeks.

Two questions though:
1. What kind of training should I be doing to help me keep up on the hills? I had no problem keeping up on the flats, and the shorter hills.
2. I had some leg cramping at the very end of the ride. I was drinking a 50/50 mix of gatorade and water. Should I switch to full strength gatorade, or some other product?
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Old 08-07-10, 08:35 PM
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Don't drink fakeorade. Drink HEED.

Good job your first ride. Keep at it, and you'll be the strong rider helping out a newbie some day.
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Old 08-07-10, 09:23 PM
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Keep chasing them around and you will get faster. If its climbs your getting dropped on add some hill repeats once a week.
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Old 08-07-10, 11:18 PM
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During group rides I always have problems on the hills as well, I think this is because groups usually hammer the hills and also I'm not the worlds lightest cyclist. Are we talking hills or mountains? For short hills you want to do some short 5 minute intervals with full recovery inbetween. Maybe start out doing 5 at a time.

I have always been taught that lack of electrolytes causes cramping. According to many here on BF this is completely false. So what does cause cramping?

For a sports drink I would use HEED, I love this stuff. Its has a light, mild taste. Gatorate powder mixed with water (even at 1/2 prescribed amount) doesnt agree with me. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth and upsets my stomach slightly. Also the PH in a lot of these sports drinks is horrible for your teeth, worse than soda - HEED has the correct PH.
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Old 08-07-10, 11:42 PM
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HFCS is bad. I eat Melaleuca Access bars, and drink water. It works great for me. The Access bars block lactic acid build up that causes the cramping.
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Old 08-07-10, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by adamscott View Post
I was a little concerned that they would be a bunch of road nazis that would yell at me for every little newbie mistake that I made.[/B]
Clearly, they don't post here.

Everything will get easier the more you do it - congrats on getting through your ride. I used to get an upset stomach drinking full strength gatorade but the low-calorie G2 agrees with me. Try some different stuff and see what works for you.
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Old 08-07-10, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Clearly, they don't post here.

Everything will get easier the more you do it - congrats on getting through your ride. I used to get an upset stomach drinking full strength gatorade but the low-calorie G2 agrees with me. Try some different stuff and see what works for you.

I'm pretty sure G2 is free of HFCS too. That stuff is the debil!
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Old 08-08-10, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by W Cole View Post
I have always been taught that lack of electrolytes causes cramping. According to many here on BF this is completely false. So what does cause cramping?
Exceeding your fitness.
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Old 08-08-10, 12:48 AM
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Surprising.

The first group ride that long I went on some road nazis said how awesome I was for fixing a flat in a bike lane instead of on the wet gravel next to the road.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by adamscott View Post
I did my first group ride today... Turns out that they are a great group of guys, and I didn't get yelled at once.
You rode on a Saturday. We yell on Tuesday nights.

Originally Posted by W Cole View Post
So what does cause cramping?
Dehydration in general. It's not necessarily WHAT you drink, it's how much.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:27 AM
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Well done! If you didn't get yelled at chances are you didn't do anything that was going to threaten anyone's safety or disrupt the paceline. Getting dropped is a part of the process and one which should encourage not discourage. Keep showing up and putting in more effort until you can keep up with the group, it's a challenge and a fun one at that.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by milliron View Post
Exceeding your fitness.
Interesting, then why do people tend to "exceed their fitness" more on days with 90 degree heat/100% humidity than on days when its 70 degrees?
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Old 08-08-10, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tc83 View Post
Interesting, then why do people tend to "exceed their fitness" more on days with 90 degree heat/100% humidity than on days when its 70 degrees?
Because it's "exceeding their fitness" for the conditions. Go do 2x20 intervals in 72 degrees with no humidity, then again on a day when it's 95 degrees and very humid. Compare power numbers against heart rate. Same fitness, different results in drastically different conditions.

It could also be dehydration (more likely slight hyponatremia), but if you're replacing electrolytes and fluids correctly, overreaching during a ride (whether duration or intensity) can also cause cramping.

I don't cramp much anymore, but I can almost always bank on it when it's (1) an early-season ride and my fitness isn't there, and it's both long and intense, or (2) a race - especially MTB or CX - of very high intensity with lots anaerobic efforts in high heat/humidity (something you can't really replicate in training easily to acclimate to) - happens on the last lap or so, usually not bad enough to affect placing.

Last edited by tommyrod74; 08-08-10 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 08-08-10, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by OCLV Assassin View Post
HFCS is bad. I eat Melaleuca Access bars, and drink water. It works great for me. The Access bars block lactic acid build up that causes the cramping.
I'm a bit dubious of the claim that eating a Melaleuca bar blocks lactic acid build up, seeing that lactic acid build up is a by product of anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic metabolism occurs when you don't have sufficient oxygen in your blood to support all of the energy requirements that you are demanding of your muscles. I don't know how consuming a Melaleuca bar (or anything for that matter) would increase the flow of oxygen into your blood, thereby preventing your body from entering into anaerobic respiration, or bringing you back from a anaerobic state to an aerobic state.

Except for the fact, that maybe you have to get off your bike to eat the bar, at which point your breathing can catch up with you. But otherwise it sounds like a lot of marketing hogwash. Or perhaps alternately, unless 'eating a Melaleuca bar' is some sort of new hip euphemism for riding around with an oxygen tank on your back and a mask on your face.
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Old 08-08-10, 12:27 PM
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I'd say just keep at it - sounds like you did fine. Working on long hills I always try to work on variety to not use the same muscle group the same way all the time - so in the saddle/out of the saddle, toes down/heels down, back of the saddle/front of the saddle, etc. If you keep out of the "red zone" you can just play with a long climb that way. If its not a long hill I just try to keep a basic balanced riding position. When it comes down to it, though, hills are often just a matter of power to weight ratio, and it can take a long time to change that one way or the other.
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Old 08-08-10, 12:52 PM
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dont worry, keep riding your ok.

Remember, your either a climber or your not. If you are having a hard time climbing, your most probably not a climber. Having said that, you should be able to get good enough to keep up with the group, I assure you, not everyone in that group is a climber. Remember, climbing ISNT easy... so there is nothing wrong with you, this is the stuff Tour DeFrance winners are made of, you will not find Cavi winning the Tour.
So all you need to do is just keep riding, you will get better, just dont give up as quickly as you do on the climb, im not saying your giving up too soon, im saying if you hang in there just that much longer, you will get that much stronger every time... makes sense?

And yes, do not drink getorade. Its not a sports drink, it sugared water for red-necks thats REALLY bad for your teeth.
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Old 08-08-10, 01:37 PM
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Nothing wrong with Gatorade watered down. I have cramping issues when I am with stronger riders and I am trying to keep up. Usually it happens on a fast ride following a hard climb. Basically it is a fitness thing.
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Old 08-08-10, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bhdavis1978 View Post
I'm a bit dubious of the claim that eating a Melaleuca bar blocks lactic acid build up, seeing that lactic acid build up is a by product of anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic metabolism occurs when you don't have sufficient oxygen in your blood to support all of the energy requirements that you are demanding of your muscles. I don't know how consuming a Melaleuca bar (or anything for that matter) would increase the flow of oxygen into your blood, thereby preventing your body from entering into anaerobic respiration, or bringing you back from a anaerobic state to an aerobic state.

Except for the fact, that maybe you have to get off your bike to eat the bar, at which point your breathing can catch up with you. But otherwise it sounds like a lot of marketing hogwash. Or perhaps alternately, unless 'eating a Melaleuca bar' is some sort of new hip euphemism for riding around with an oxygen tank on your back and a mask on your face.
I am not sure, but they really work. They have several patents on them, and I've been using them for years with great results. It also is designed to make you burn fat for fuel, you can basically ride on an empty stomach. Once you drink or eat anything with sugar though, it cancels out the access bar. The lactic acid this is a side effect that is pretty awesome. I started using them years ago to fight arm pump when I raced moto-x. I started using them again while cycling. They work great. I was stranded out in the sticks a few weeks back, and ran out of water. Had to buy a soda from a pop machine instead. 5 miles later, the access bar was turned off, and all my muscles were cramping, even my arms. That hadn't happened all year until that point. Don't take my word for it though try some for yourself. Of do some research on them. They have been around for about 15 years, and there is no other product in the world like them.
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Old 08-08-10, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bhdavis1978 View Post
I'm a bit dubious of the claim that eating a Melaleuca bar blocks lactic acid build up, seeing that lactic acid build up is a by product of anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic metabolism occurs when you don't have sufficient oxygen in your blood to support all of the energy requirements that you are demanding of your muscles. I don't know how consuming a Melaleuca bar (or anything for that matter) would increase the flow of oxygen into your blood, thereby preventing your body from entering into anaerobic respiration, or bringing you back from a anaerobic state to an aerobic state.

Except for the fact, that maybe you have to get off your bike to eat the bar, at which point your breathing can catch up with you. But otherwise it sounds like a lot of marketing hogwash. Or perhaps alternately, unless 'eating a Melaleuca bar' is some sort of new hip euphemism for riding around with an oxygen tank on your back and a mask on your face.
My sentiments exactly. Right on.
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Old 08-08-10, 06:09 PM
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Isn't there a way to avoid cramping by just eating regular food?
Why all the sports drinks and gels and artificial energy stuff?
Doesn't, say, trail mix work just as well to supplement after a meal/during a ride?
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Old 08-08-10, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by OCLV Assassin View Post
I am not sure, but they really work. They have several patents on them, and I've been using them for years with great results. It also is designed to make you burn fat for fuel, you can basically ride on an empty stomach. Once you drink or eat anything with sugar though, it cancels out the access bar. The lactic acid this is a side effect that is pretty awesome. I started using them years ago to fight arm pump when I raced moto-x. I started using them again while cycling. They work great. I was stranded out in the sticks a few weeks back, and ran out of water. Had to buy a soda from a pop machine instead. 5 miles later, the access bar was turned off, and all my muscles were cramping, even my arms. That hadn't happened all year until that point. Don't take my word for it though try some for yourself. Of do some research on them. They have been around for about 15 years, and there is no other product in the world like them.
Melaleuca makes such outrageous claims for the access bar that I can't find it in my heart to read very far. Enhanced sustained aerobic activity by 50%? That is way way better than EPO...

I actually tried 'em (give away for a century ride). They didn't do anything for me except upset my stomach.
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Old 08-08-10, 06:43 PM
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We have a guy that carries a bag of Fritos. 8:30 this morning, we all meet up and he pulls a bag of Fritos from underneath his vest.
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Old 08-08-10, 06:55 PM
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To train for the ride, I would take that course atleast one more time a week.
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Old 08-08-10, 07:16 PM
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I disagree with the "exceeding your fitness" idea. I've done that PLENTY of times. Never with a cramp.

I'm going to put in another vote for proper hydration AND I need to ADD that you can't just start drinking when the ride begins. You have to start hydrating a day or two before a big ride.

The pro riders complain about having to drink so much (or more accurately: getting up 3 times every night to expel).

If my urine isn't clear when I start a big ride, I can almost guarantee a session with Professor Cramp at mile 60. TMI?
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Old 08-08-10, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
I disagree with the "exceeding your fitness" idea. I've done that PLENTY of times. Never with a cramp.

I'm going to put in another vote for proper hydration AND I need to ADD that you can't just start drinking when the ride begins. You have to start hydrating a day or two before a big ride.

The pro riders complain about having to drink so much (or more accurately: getting up 3 times every night to expel).

If my urine isn't clear when I start a big ride, I can almost guarantee a session with Professor Cramp at mile 60. TMI?
TMI? Not at all! Thanks!
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