I broke down and bought some Hammer products. Several members of our local riding club swear by the stuff with a nearly religious devotion, getting a club discount doesn’t hurt either. Rob at Natures Choice health food recommended me to try perpeteum, endurolytes, anti-fatigue caps, gels, and endurance amino acid caps. When I worked out how much I could spend I bought some gels, some anti-fatigue caps, and some perpeteum. This morning’s ride made an excellent test for these new fuel options.
The ride in question was a 74 mile climbing fest that started in Equality went through Elizabeth town, over to Cave in Rock and back to Equality. Terry told me he thought it was around 60 when we started so I earned some bonus miles. Joining us was two of Terry’s buddies from Indiana, Dan and Keith, I guess they can’t get enough of our Southern Illinois hospitality, or is it the hills? On my last ride I didn’t take a camelbak and regretted it so this time I took two bottles of perpetuem, one small one large and a full icy camelbak. I also took a couple of Anti-Fatgiue caps to start off with. I left the gel and took two power bars.
I should note that according to the scale I started off this ride at 249 pounds, thats the lowest weight I’ve ever started a ride at since Junior High, maybe even 6th grade? I also started this ride with a helmet on, thought I need to get used to wearing one for GOBA, plus when you’re bombing down huge hills I guess its not a bad deal.
So everything was going great, I liked the taste of the perpeteum and it seemed like it was fighting off hunger. About 30 miles in I started thinking that my legs felt really good, climbing a big hill didn’t seem to hurt at all. I realized that I wasn’t breathing hard or at least nearly as hard as I should have been on some of the hills. At Cave in Rock which was around the half way point I refilled one water bottle and added some powdered Gatorade, I misjudged how much I had sipping from my camelbak, I thought there was a lot left in it, but it was probably about 3/4 empty.
About 55 miles in I was getting hot and realizing my water was getting low. I was out of perpeteum my camelbak was empty and the gatorade was nearly gone, I tried conserving for a bit and eventually lucked out when I spotted a water spigot near the road. I refilled my two bottles and proceeded to the Garden of the Gods climb which would be the toughest climb of the day. I didn’t realize how thirsty I was because soon I was down to one small bottle. Being that I was ahead of the group and feeling all pumped up on Hammer stuff I turned and did the Glenn-O-Jones climb which was an extra 200 feet of climbing and a couple extra miles. That climb finished off my last water bottle. Terry being the super nice guy that he is waited on me and we rode in together.
I don’t know if the anti-fatigue caps wore off but I was really starting to feel it when I hit that last climb, neck, shoulders, back, legs; they were all feeling a bit sore. What actually distressed me was my lack of sweat, I realized I wasn’t even damp. Not a good sign. I drank half a bottle of Gatorade that Terry had in his pack and that got me the last miles back into Equality.
I was dehydrated when I got back to my car, and I ran into a friend there who I’m sure thought I was on drugs from the way I was stuttering and slurring every word. I drank down a bottle of water and arrived home a shattered man, barely able to make my way to the bathtub and lay around in cold water. A protein shake and a big meal have brought me back to life well enough to type this out, and so far I’m not suffering from a post ride headache.
According to the Garmin we did 74 miles with 5940 feet of climbing. Out moving time was 5 hours and 46 minutes for a 12.8 mph average speed. We were stopped 1 hour and 36 minutes for a 10 mph overall speed. My maximum speed was 46 mph. I drank about 168 ounces of fluid on the ride and according to the Hammer Guide I should be drinking about 28 ounces per hour. Considering that we were out there 7.25 hours I was about 35 ounces short. I’m not sure if the Hammer Guide takes fat guys into account in its calculations.
It’s hard for me to make a judgment on the Hammer products after one ride, but I can say with complete confidence that I felt super good on this ride; my legs seemed to have endless kick, and until I started running low on fluids I was doing awesome. I ate two cliff bars on this ride and one oatmeal pie, I really never felt hungry until the end and I have to chalk that up to the perpeteum.
So good buddies, good hills, and a good ride, what more could a brother ask for.