Registration is now closed for RAGBRAI XLIX. Transfers are now open!

Trainning For longest day of Ragbrai

Me and my team mate train yesterday on the same route last years Ragbrai .We stared at Leon IA and was riding to Centerville,which I think is around 72 miles.When we got into Mistic I got off my bike and walked a little and my legs cramped up so bad I couldn’t do anything or move.So I could really use some advise because I wanted to ride more but the legs wouldn’t let me.I dont want to let my team mate down.

10 Replies

Cory Rood, June 11, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Electrolytes. What was your hydration strategy?


Geoff Butland, June 11, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Sounds like a what we used to call “bonking” in my mountain biking days. Take a big swig of water and let it work its magic. My guess is dehydration, but I’m no more of a doctor than my dog. But when my legs cramp up hard like that it’s always been water to my rescue.

Good luck – hope you figure things out.



Luv 2 Ski, June 11, 2017 at 4:12 pm

My guess is hydration and nutrition are the issue. If you get cramps pickle juice works wonders. It is amazing how fast it will help with cramps. There is now a commercial product of pickle juice in very small bottles. Saw them recently at 2 local bike shops.


RoyBoy, June 12, 2017 at 9:06 am

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I always hydrate before a long ride with one bottle of water and try to drink at least one bottle every hour right from the start of the ride. Every third bottle on a long ride I have an electrolyte of some kind. Eat something about every hour too. You need to consume enough carbohydrates or you will exhaust your body’s glycogen stores.
At night during RAGBRAI I always have two bottles of water with me in my tent so when I wake up thirsty I can keep hydrating.


aredgar, June 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Sure, hydration and electrolytes for many reasons, but a fair bit of research thinks cramping is more related to overuse. So, more training, both endurance and technique, would be the answer. Maybe its just too early in the season yet?


Mike Murphy, June 22, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Prehydration has helped me a lot the last couple of years. Whenever I have a long ride coming up I ensure that I take in lots of water the night before. On the ride I rotate one bottle of water and one bottle of gatorade and I haven’t had any problems on long rides including centuries.


SFC JKL 2, June 22, 2017 at 10:55 pm

I jump on the band wagon for hydration and nutrition. Too much straight water is a bad thing too as you need to replace the minerals. Many people swear by pickle juice. I’ll only drink it if you want to see it come back up thru my nose. I like Sport Legs or Endurolytes. I’ve also heard a quick fix for cramping on the road is Tums with calcium. Chocolate milk has long been used for post ride recovery so I’m guessing the science is there.


Tom Olinger, June 22, 2017 at 11:18 pm

I’ll go with lack of miles. That major of cramping would be similar to a charley horse at night after a very (very) hard ride. You can usually feel riding cramps coming on. As everyone mentioned, for RAGBRAI I would either always use electrolyte tablets in your ‘water’ bottles or take salt tablets like the SaltStick product. I prefer SaltStick because I tend to drink more plain water then when it contains the electrolyte products. Also remember RAGBRAI isn’t a 72 mile ride it’s 4 18 miles rides. Stop at each town and enjoy the scenery/camaraderie while hydrating.


flyinbrian, June 22, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Do more long training rides, it’s the only way to get used to longer rides.


Nico ZZZ, June 23, 2017 at 6:41 am

Outside of hydration and more training, you could also work stretching into your daily routine. Get a sports/foam roller and roll out before and after a ride (all sorts of videos on the magic of foam rolling and cycling). I use magnesium spray topically before and after the ride on the legs and shoulders. I haven’t cramped since adding these activities to my routine. I take a spray bottle of the magnesium with me to RAGBRAI, loaned it to a tent neighbor the first night who was dying of cramps (could barely walk) and within five minutes he was praising the magnesium and he could walk again! Healed! Praise Magnesium! =)
Ride On!


You must be logged in to reply to this topic.






Gatherings & Meetings

Lost and Found


Clubs, Teams & Charters

Friends of RAGBRAI