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Ongoing muscle cramps while biking

Yesterday I got on the bike for the first time this year. I am a 52-year-old woman in relatively good shape. I started pedaling, and immediately after I stopped and coasted, I experienced an intense cramp-like ache in both legs, especially the thigh area. It lasted at an intense level for about 10 seconds,almost bringing me to a stop, then mostly subsided. This continued during the entire 2-hour bike ride: Every time I pushed the pedals hard, then when I eased up or stopped pedaling, this ache occurred.

I figured I just needed to warm up. Then I thought perhaps I was dehydrated. Then I considered that I was perhaps low in sodium OR potassium. Nothing I did or consumed made a difference.

Today my leg muscles do not feel sore at all. But when I got on the bike again--same thing, immediately. Easy, consistent biking is fine, but even one or two harder pushes on the pedal bring this deep, brief aching. I don't feel it while I'm pedaling hard, just when I STOP pushing so hard and ease up.

Now that I've thought back, I realize that I've also been experiencing something additional aching in my hands and forearms when I've tried to do things that require a more forceful grip, although it's not as noticeable because I'm not trying to keep going like I am when pedaling a bike. I just thought my hands/arms were fatigued due to my job (nonstop keyboard/computer work). I have no trouble walking.

I've never experienced anything like this. And I don't have sore muscles after yesterday's ride! It's just...weird. Anybody have this or have any ideas what's going on?
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Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
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