Unholy cramp


The abominable Bikeman
Ashford, Kent
Ok, so i did a 20mile or so ride (Long for me) got to a RL, put my foot down and got a shooting cramp in my calf.

had to hobble off the road.

Any ideas what may have caused it? I had been drinking plenty of water, and had a high carb breakfast around 10am, cramp was at 2 ish.

Any advice would be great, id rather it didnt happen again if i can help it


Failure to replace lost salts? Water on its own isn't always enough.


Legendary Member
I have had twinges of cramp simply when moving from one position to another too quickly (but that could be old age too :sad::angry:). Particularly with tired muscles. I used to find that just the movement of unclipping could twinge a muscle in my foot.

So I think cramp can also be brought on by simply by using a muscle that's not quite ready for it! But I am quite susceptible to cramp, getting it in my fingers and, more often still, that big palm/thumb muscle. It's quite fun to watch it twitch and spasm!

Been a while since I've had a thigh cramp though. My lord, that one is painful.

Btw, I doubt you'd have lost significant amounts of salt in 20 miles. Unless you were particularly depleted beforehand, I suspect the answer is more likely to be along the lines of a cold or tired muscle. Or perhaps your shoes were done up too tight! :biggrin:


Fuelled with Jelly Babies
South Wales
I had a serious cramp in both legs at the same time on a long climb recently.Its no joke and even after the cramp had stopped there was less strength in my legs for the rest of the day.

Advice i have had from several sources have mentioned salt replacement or an electrolite type drink which replaces salt plus other stuff you lose through sweating.

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Kirton, Devon.
If you google info about cramp you'll soon realise that nobody really knows much about cramp. However, keeping hydrated and ensuring that your salt levels are ok-ish won't hurt.
What does seem to be clear though is that incidences of cramp decrease as you get fitter and in better 'condition'. It's quite common on this and other forums to get a lot of questions about cramp in Spring but very few later in the season. As you did a long ride 'for you' then this is probably the cause. As you do more miles and get used to cyling further the cramps will go. Don't push too hard and allow your self plenty of time to warm-up on the bike, say 15 minutes just twiddling the pedals before starting to give it the beans... Then 15 mins warming down at the end.


Legendary Member
In my case it was a salt deficiency. I take no care to avoid salt in my diet because I sweat buckets, but on long rides either Nuun or Elete stopped the cramp. Oh, and I can recommend Wind-Eze if you get stomach cramps and nausea on night rides; it's usually trapped wind!


Im not so sure about salt deficency and cramp, Im with FF on this fitness and proper stretching and warming up and cooling down are the best ways to avoid the cramps. Unless you sweat profusely or have a medical condition that dictates otherwise, I would think most people eating a normal diet wouldnt have a prob. with salt deficency. I know I dont.
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