By Greg Conderacci
The other day I was struggling through a hilly 200K ride when suddenly severe cramps stabbed my legs. If you’re a long-time fan of Coach John Hughes, as I am, you know why: too old, too hot, too fast, and not enough training, hydration or electrolytes.
So, I opened a packet of mustard, swallowed the nasty stuff, and the cramps went away. That’s because mustard is a “TRP agonist” (don’t ask me what that means; you’ll have to Google smarter people than me). So are pickle juice, HotShot, and Atomic Fireballs Candy (another shameless shortcut of mine).
To be sure, mustard’s no miracle cure for cramps. The miracle cure is an ebike that looks like a regular bike, which some RBR readers insist is The Future of Bicycling. I don’t have one of those (yet), but if I did I might even be able to do some of the training other readers have recommended to me (pushing bigger gears, dragging cinder blocks and carrying railroad ties). And I could ignore with impunity all of John’s sage advice.
So, mustard’s not as good as a $9,500 ebike, but at the price I pay for mustard, it’s about 240,000 times cheaper.
Greg Conderacci is a marketing consultant and a former Wall Street Journal reporter, non-profit entrepreneur, and investment bank chief marketing officer. In Getting UP!, he brings you the same skills he teaches at a top graduate school and Fortune 500 companies. Lots of people promise better performance … Greg proves it. Using his energy techniques, in 2015 he rode a bicycle across America in just 18 days — averaging 150 miles a day.
Brian Nystrom says
It’s interesting that these products cause a reaction in the body that stops cramps. From what I’ve read, it’s almost immediate, so it clearly has nothing to do with electrolytes or the actual nutritional components in them, as there’s no way the body can absorb them that quickly. The human body is a truly amazing and mysterious machine!
Mustard also works for me and I enjoy the taste. A couple of the single-serving packets snitched from a restaurant take up very little room in a jersey pocket. I also carry several in my hydration pack while mountain biking.
David L says
Yeah mustard is about 240,000 times cheaper than an e-bike but not near as much fun. A smile on my face is so much better than a cramp. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy riding my Roubaix when not pushing hard in long hot humid weather. I enjoy the best of both worlds.