People ask me why I ride. Why I would get on a bike and go for 50 miles. Why put on silly tight clothes and go toe to toe with semi-trucks and morons who view cyclists as a road nuisance ranking slightly above skunks but below deer in the list of things they'd feel bad about smashing all over the road.
I ride, like so many others, because I love it. Cycling is a healthy drug that makes you a better person.
Several years ago I found out I had degenerated disks in my back. That sucks, but a switch from aluminum to carbon frames and a lot of core exercise means that I still get to do what I love - ride.
On longer rides or rides where I push harder I usually pay the price later in the evening with nasty leg cramps. Not just pain, but the kind you can see from the outside. A knotted ball of muscle leaves me dying on the floor or jolts me awake in the middle of the night. The consequence is sore tendons and a week of recovery while the muscle heals.
Because I got tired of paying the high price after a long ride I thought I'd have to give up on centuries - the annual right of passage for every cyclist.
Then, as if it were a vision from heaven, the GearSnyper extension showed me Sportlegs. At first I was nervous. Was this some short term solution that would improve my performance short term but result in a third testicle if I took it over and over again? Would I find myself in front of the UCI Spanish Inquisition having to answer for my drug induced performance increases? Most of all, these things are powered by lactate. A long time ago, in grade school they told me that was the bad stuff - the waste left over after you exercise.
I don't love taking pills and I don't like drugs so I was hesitant. Even after the bottle showed up it took me several days to convince myself that taking the pills wouldn't put me into a comma or result in a lifetime ban from the sport.
As it turns out they just work. They really do. I took the recommened amount, put in 60 miles, took another dose afterwards and then nothing - no cramps and very little burn. Usually after a ride like that I feel the burn into the evening. If I pushed hard the cramps punish me through the night. No amount of pickle juice, electrolytes or leg massages have prevented the pain, but with just one usage Sportslegs changed my life.
I wonderd if it was a fluke so I tried them again the next day. This time I started the ride in the heat of the day - 100 degrees. I glistened from the sweat. By all logic I should have cramped due to the lost of electrolytes, but once again nothing. No burn. No cramps. (I do use Skratch Labs drink mix during the ride to restore electrolytes and provide some energy. It is awesome.)
I've got a century this weekend. I'll be taking Sportlegs before, during and after.
I didn't notice any amazing performance gains but I didn't expect any. Others have reported a .5-1 mph improvement. A nice set of wheels will do that. Sportlegs might do that for you, but either way the fact that they reduce recovery time and elminate cramping makes them a miracle drug for me.
I've not had any side effects so far other than maybe some gas (could have been the fish tacos). My wife doesn't love that the house smells like a stockyard, and she misses watching me writhe in pain on the floor as each muscle in my leg betrays me, but I'll be purchasing several more bottles while they are a Killer Deal: