A couple of years back, when I first started to get into mountain biking, and before I really had any friends who mountain biked, I joined a group called Bayside Adventure Sports. Despite being the youngest person in the group by like a dozen years, I was the slowest person in the group. After a couple of rides with them I stopped going, I was just too weak a mountain biker to keep up with their intermediate group (and they rarely had beginner group rides.)
On one of the trips with them, I started to cramp up really badly, so the group had to keep waiting for me. After waiting for me a couple of times, the group leader handed me a small squeeze bottle and told me to drink the green liquid inside. It was the most sour and salty concoction I had ever drank, but it worked, magically curing my cramp. He told me it was pickle juice, and that he always carried it around as a cure for cramps. Unfortunately for me though, he only had a small squeeze bottle and we still had several miles of climbing left in our ride.
The cramps returned a couple of miles later, and my right leg locked up completely. When my leg locked I fell over sideways. The place where we were riding was a place called Bullard’s Bar. Like many trails in the foothills it was cut into the side of a steep canyon. So when I fell over sideways, I fell off the trail and would’ve rolled down the canyon headfirst if there wasn’t a tree there to catch me. I laid down in the dirt next to the tree until my leg loosened up. As I climbed back up onto the trail, I looked down and realized I was really lucky. At that point I was far behind everyone else, so no one had seen me fall. If the tree hadn’t stopped me, I could have been hurt pretty badly. I’m sure the group would’ve come back to look for me eventually, but they might not have been able to find me or reach me in the canyon down below.
I walked with my bike for a bit, then when my leg loosened up enough, I switched to my granny gear and slowly rode on as if nothing happened. A few minutes later I caught up to the group, who had been waiting for a while. “All downhill from here,” the leader said, to my relief. And so I more or less coasted the rest of the way back to the cars.
That was the last time I rode with BAS.
Anyways what reminded me of this somewhat embarrassing story from my mountain biking past was this article I read today:
Apparently they are selling pickle juice as a sports drink now. It sounds like a stupid idea, but from my experience this stuff works, albeit briefly. Nowadays I try to carry at least two bottles of Gatorade with me when I mountain bike, I know that the electrolytes help to stave off cramping. I think if I could find a bottle of pickle juice sport drink, I’ll buy some for emergencies. Then maybe I could think of biking with BAS again.
Hmm. So apparently BAS created a meetup group, and apparently they’re riding Bullard’s Bar again next weekend. The funny thing is, even though I haven’t gone to BAS for almost two years now, the picture they put up has me in it. Maybe they wanted to keep the token Asian guy in the picture so it looks like there’s some diversity in the group…