Monday, September 2, 2013

Sad Day In The Saddle

I had a bad ride on Sunday.  A very, very bad ride.  The good news is that I did not fall and/or break anything. The bad news is that I became dehydrated and that resulted in leg cramps. 
 It is very hard to stay upright when your legs are cramping.
I started out the day on an organized ride put on by the Delaware Valley Bicycle Club.
 They offered a bunch of different distances, 26, 50, 65, 80 or 100 miles. (Yes, 100 miles!) I chose the 65 mile route.  I did a ride that distance the last 2 weekends, so I thought I would take on the challenge.  I love doing these organized rides because there are lots of people and  there are food stops along the way with fruit, water and yummy baked goods. 
 I have something to share.  I have a terrible sense of direction.  One of my biggest fears when I go on one of these rides is that I will get lost. They do supply you with a cue sheet.
Most riders have a computer on their bike to track distance, speed and time, so in combination with the cue sheet you know where and when to turn.  In addition there are marks on the road:
Some rides, the routes are marked better than others. And then sometimes there are the cyclists ahead of you to follow, provided they do not miss the turn. 
I took this one photo before the first rest stop:
The scenery was hilly and beautiful. 
Who knew there were lots of beautiful horse farms in Coatsville.
But this is where my picture taking ended.  I started feeling like my legs were like logs and I was riding along at a snail's pace.  I thought I had run out of energy.  In cycling terms, it's called bonking.  I started making my own rest stops.  Lots of them. Then I felt the twinges of leg cramps beginning.  The best remedy is consuming TUMS.  I always carry them in my little bike pack.  2 TUMS, 4 TUMS - can you overdose on TUMS?  I started walking up the hills.  I finished ALL of my water.
I was at 41 miles, my legs were starting to really cramp, I turned the corner and saw a HUGE hill.
Thanks goodness for cell phones.  I called my White Knight and his (really my) faithful companion: "Come get me!"
As I hobbled into the car, I noticed the thermometer read 87 degrees.
It didn't seem that hot on the bike, but leg cramps are a classic sign of dehydration.
Lesson learned.
This was a jersey from a cycling trip to Prince Edward Island with my son in 2004.

Distance: 41.66 miles
Avg mph: 11.6
Time Pedaling: 3;33
Real Time:  ??? Seemed like forever


  1. Hi Cheryl,

    Sorry to hear you didn't get as far as you wanted. I'm amazed at the 41 miles. Farther than I could go, or maybe farther than I'd want to. And you're very fortunate to have your white knight to come and help you out. Just wanted to send words of encouragement.

  2. That was a bit hot to be riding, you definitely need a lot of water. I have found eating bananas helps me when I am dogging.
    I would say 41 miles was no short feat.


  3. The good news is that you lived to tell the story! You're right, tho - pretty countryside. Glad you didn't "tough it out" and were smart enough to call for a rescue. Besides, Bailey missed you.

  4. So glad you didn't fall! And glad you had your cell phone so you could be rescued! So sorry you had such a rough day!
    I guess your next successful ride will feel so much sweeter after this experience. Take good care of yourself!

  5. Cheryl -- your cycling adventures are pretty incredible
    and impressive! Wow! 41 miles!! Be careful!!!
    And I agree with everyone above!


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