I will never ever miss the feeling of cramps. Specially, double leg cramps.
I don’t usually hate anything or anyone. If there’s anything I hate, it’s cramps.
In 2005, while swimming across a short channel between two islands, I was attacked by cramps on both legs. To make the long story short, it ended my triathlon training for that year. I never trained for another triathlon again.
Last Saturday, I rode my bike for the second time in 3 months. The first time was the day before, Friday. It was a survey ride with the route setter of an off-road triathlon. The uphill rides are pretty much acceptable to me. I would’ve been disappointed if there were just a a few. What caught me were the downhill parts. Not only they are rutted and winding, the ground is made up of sharp corals.
It’s not surprising in this part of the world to see shells in the mountains. But, riding downhill on my hardtail, cross-country bike, on sharp corals is a complete nightmare. I brought a spare tube and thank God I never had a puncture. I tried riding those sketchy single-track, sharp, rutted trails, but i was so afraid I’d crash. I had to walk on some parts, reluctantly. Reluctantly, because I’m also concerned I might break my shoes walking on sharp rocks.
Several times my crank arms hit some sharp rocks. One time, it was my big chain ring that hit the ground.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I am enjoying this ride because it was the first time I’ve ridden that trail. It just so abused my bike. It’s not for a hardtail XC bike. More suited to AM (with tons of courage) or DH bikes.
After the downhill rides,I thought it would be time for chow. No, I was wrong. Cranking hard on flat grounds, we turned left on another uphill. On this trail I experienced the most crippling quadriceps cramps I ever had. I threw the bike and slumped in the middle of the trail. I didn’t know if I’d keep sitting or I’ll stand. The cramps are moving, damn!
After just a couple of minutes agonizing in the middle of the trails, I summoned my strength and walked the few meters to the top. There, my companion is waiting and yelling at me. Yeah, I’m ok!
We went inside another trail and were rewarded with fresh coconuts from a newly felled tree. And, a free lunch prepared by one of our friends.
On the way home, it rained. It was a heavy rain. Whew!
Well, what’s a mountain bike built for? ABUSE!