As endurance junkies, we always enjoy hearing the stories of physical challenges undertaken by our customers or sponsored athletes. Whether it be 100-mile ultramarathons or across-the-country bike rides, these stories of defying physical boundaries inspire us to push our own bodies as well.
On that note, we wanted to share a story with you from one of our customers. Recently, SaltStick Caps helped Glenn Shay, 64, of Phoenix, Ariz., complete a seven day bike ride across most of the Southwestern United States.
Glenn said he had always enjoyed challenging himself through cycling by setting himself goals of all types. Normally, this meant daily, small goals such as maintaining 90 rpms in a workout or achieving an 80 percent heart rate level.
Sometimes, it also meant big goals… Very big goals. Like when, in 2009, he and his daughter decided to ride from Vancouver, Canada to San Diego, Calif., before heading back home to Phoenix, Ariz.
Unfortunately, this journey ended early when a knee injury prevented his daughter from continuing. Glenn and his daughter stopped their ride in Washington State, and it would be several years before he again attempted such a trip.
However, in 2015, the urge to ride cross-country returned, and Glenn formulated a plan to ride the Southern Tier bike route, which stretches from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla. Since their 2009 bike ride, his daughter had moved to North Carolina, and he planned to tack on a few hundred more miles North to visit her once he finished the route in St. Augustine.
Glenn said his daughter “was not going to be able to ride again due to her family obligations.” So to find a partner for the ride, he browsed crazyguyonabike.com, a website on which bicycle tourists create and edit their own online tour journal. There, he said he “found another man who was near my age who was also interested in riding the Southern Tier.”
“My wife and son drove us to San Diego where we started our self contained tour,” Glenn said.
As one would expect, the trip began with lots — and lots — of riding.
“I was fully loaded and in the saddle seven hours a day for seven days straight,” Glenn said.
But an ill-fitting saddle began causing issues that got so severe, that by Phoenix, Glenn and his partner were forced to stop every mile to seek relief. Ultimately, the pair decided to end the journey and try again after Glenn fixed the saddle issues.
“Needless to say disappointment is a understatement,” Glenn said.
While it may have been frustrating to end the trip early, we still want to congratulate Glenn for his success! The trip from San Diego to Phoenix is more than 350 miles, and 50 hours of cycling is no small feat. We’re happy to know that Glenn will be back soon, aiming for a successful ride (after finding a better seat, of course)!
How SaltStick helped Glenn in his journey:
Before preparing for his 2015 ride, Glenn suffered from frequent cramping, both on and off the bike. Even “the simple action of moving the kitchen chair back” would result in seizing hamstrings, he said.
“It was common for me to have a calf, or hamstring, or quad leg cramp during the night waking me up begging for my wife to knead out the cramp,” Glenn said.
He had previously heard about SaltStick through training articles, but had never used any himself. Knowing that some athletes use SaltStick Caps to help reduce cramping, he decided to purchase some product “as a precautionary measure,” he said.
(Want to learn more about our view on electrolytes and cramping? Check out our recent blog post here.)
Two days into the ride, Glenn began to feel a twinge in his quads, which he had learned was a warning sign that a cramp was imminent. In response, he took two SaltStick Caps, and about 15 minutes later, he noticed the sensation had eased.
“I was very, very surprised,” he said.
From that point on, he took one SaltStick capsule per hour during his rides, and one additional capsule right before bed.
“I never experienced a single cramp during my tour,” Glenn said.
Now, SaltStick has become part of Glenn’s daily routine. He begins his rides with one SaltStick capsule and continues with one capsule per hour.
“I have not had any cramping during the night nor have I experienced any hamstring cramping as I’m sliding out the kitchen chair,” Glenn said. “I firmly believe that SaltStick eliminated my cramping. SaltStick is the only thing that I have added to my diet. Therefore I can confidently proclaim SaltStick works!”
We’re so thankful to Glenn for sharing his story with us, and we wish him best of luck when he takes on the Southern Tier again.
Third time’s a charm, Glenn, and we’re rooting for you!