Today I rode with yet another group of Olympia riders (well, in truth, there was quite a bit of overlap). Today was the "Friday Group". This group rides every Friday from Ralph's Thriftway. I think there is some variance in the time--today the meeting time was 11:00.
Since I knew the ride was going to be at least 3 hours, I thought I should have a snack before I went. So, I had an apple with peanut butter...lots of peanut butter...too much peanut butter.
The ride over to Ralph's was fine. I had plenty of time, so I wasn't pushing too much--just warming up. I met up with the group and saw many familiar faces (especially amongst the women). By the time we headed out there were about 12 of us, and half of us were women.
The loop we were doing was Johnson Creek (actually Johnson Creek Rd itself is just a 3 or 4 mile part on the route). I felt pretty good as we cruised south and picked up the trail near Fir Tree. I was having a great conversation with Larry who just got back from Africa.
As we made the sharp right from the Chehalis Western to the Yelm/Tenino Trail, I realized I had picked up a few pounds of fir needles between my fender and wheel. We stopped at the turn to go across 507 and onto Johnson Creek Rd. I was able to get most of the needles out of the fenders. During the stop, I noticed I was getting a side-ache and a tiny bit lightheaded. I ate a Shot Block and then we headed up Johnson Creek. The lightheaded feeling went away as soon as I started riding again, but the side-ache got worse. I slowed down considerably going up the hill as I was having a bit of trouble getting a deep breath. The group pulled ahead, but they slowed down and let me catch up. Adam let me hook on to his wheel and I drafted behind him back to the group. When I didn't have to work as hard, the cramping would dissipate a little.
I think what caused the cramping was eating too much protein before the ride (in the form of peanut butter). I have had this happen before (case in point, the "Side-ache Sandwich" from Berry Fields Cafe--Crab and Provolone on toasted sour dough--and, usually...okay...all the time, followed by dessert--enough to give anyone a side-ache!), but not after eating an apple and peanut butter. I guess the difference is that after that much protein, I usually don't hammer the pedals quite so hard.
Anyway, I was able to keep up okay on the flats and I would get dropped on the hills. Someone would always drift back let me hook on to their wheel and pull me back to the group. Once I was in the middle of the pack, I could maintain the speed even with the side-ache.
I peeled off for home at Capital and North Street. I made it home just before the rain started. I clocked 62 miles with an average of 17.2 mph.
So now I know. Don't eat too much protein BEFORE a ride. From now on, I'll stick to a snack of carbs! Lesson learned!