Did I bonk?

andrewlwood
andrewlwood Posts: 224
edited August 2011 in Road beginners
Went for a ride with Dulwich Paragon today - thoroughly nice chaps, though I got dropped, for the following reason:

For the last two months I've been commuting to work - 8 miles each way, 3-5 times a week, with a couple of 15-mile longer rides home. I want to do some cycling that's out of traffic and at the weekends, and also build up to a century in the next year.

Was doing well - getting used to hills, which I don't have on my commute, and being pleased that I was grinding up two-mile ascents without running out of breath or legs.

At 26 miles, I suddenly ran completely out of energy going up a fairly easy hill. Not legs, not heart, not breath - just suddenly had to stop. Got back on, cycled 100ft, had to stop again. Starving hungry, thirsty and had nothing to eat and no water left.

Gave it 5 mins, got on bike, got to cafe, had a coke and a mars bar, and after 20 mins got back on and cycled for another 15 miles at 18 mph average! Got home, tired but not drained.

I'm disappointed that I didn't stay with the group, because I was enjoying it, and it feels like I could have finished if I'd had some sugar and fluids with me. I think I know the answer to this, but is that what bonking feels like?

Comments

  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    There is a world of difference between commuting at your own pace and club riding when you have to obey someone else's pace.. and if you dont stick at it, you get depressed and a little bit peeved with yourself for getting dropped... you were right, best blame it on the bonk :wink:
  • cornerblock
    cornerblock Posts: 3,228
    You have answered your own question. Classic bonking symptoms I'd say. How much water/ fluid did you have to start with? One bottle ought to have been enough on a day like today, as it was not overly warm. It's worth consuming a fair bit of fluid as soon as you can prior to the ride, then all you need to do is keep topping up once your riding. As for food, even if you have no time for breakfast, then a banana or two is just the job.
    Which group did you go out with? I hope they waited for you!
  • Thing is, it happened very suddenly, and the pace we were riding at was much slower than my commuting pace - I deliberately sat in a slow group because I'm not used to the hills or distance.. I'm not looking for excuses, honest, just surprised at how quickly and suddenly it came on, and I'm determined to stay with them next time!

    They may have waited for me - I don't know, because I may well have taken a wrong turn at some point! Not a problem for me - though I hope they're not overly concerned.

    I had one bottle with me, but I'm a sweaty bugger and tend to drink a lot of water normally. Had a wholly unsuitable breakfast of a croissant, which I will definitely learn from!
  • cornerblock
    cornerblock Posts: 3,228
    So you finished the ride on your own? I am surprised that nobody waited for you, especially if you were in the slower group. Well done for getting back, I bet that Coke and Mars bar tasted good. And maybe a second bottle is needed.
  • So you finished the ride on your own? I am surprised that nobody waited for you, especially if you were in the slower group. Well done for getting back, I bet that Coke and Mars bar tasted good. And maybe a second bottle is needed.

    My thoughts precisely. Thanks mate, will go out again next sat with them and better equipped!
  • cyco2
    cyco2 Posts: 593
    As a rule in the morning before a longish ride its a good idea to eat for you and then eat for the bike. If its cereals then a large portion instead of the normal commute to work amount. If cornflakes crushing them up small doubles the intake without the bulk.
    I always take a mars bar with me for emergency use with 1L high energy drink. The thing about all this preparation before I go though is I can on the odd occasion get the bonk and don't understand why.
    Shame on you though for relying on a croissant. You get out what you put in. :?
    ...................................................................................................

    If you want to be a strong rider you have to do strong things.
    However if you train like a cart horse you'll race like one.
  • jame58rown
    jame58rown Posts: 263
    I've bonked a few times, now I always carry some food in my back pocket and since I mostly ride 40km or more, I always take two bottles one with water and one with a carbohydrate/electrolyte drink which keeps me going :D
  • Thanks for your pointers. I don't usually need any encouragement to consume calories!

    Just ordered two larger bottles, some electrolyte tablets and some energy powder for next weekend's ride. And will get some porridge oats too!
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,077
    My usual way of telling is whether you wanyted to just get off the bike, lie in the nearest ditch and cry / sleep! But yes, the way you revived after some food suggests definite bonk. I had it once less than 30 miles into a 100 miler. Got pushed by two other riders the 20 miles to the cafe stop and after some beans on toast I was able to ride on the front much of the way back. The only good thing about the bonk is how easy it is to overcome it providing you have some food or money to get some.
  • Pross wrote:
    My usual way of telling is whether you wanyted to just get off the bike, lie in the nearest ditch and cry / sleep! But yes, the way you revived after some food suggests definite bonk. I had it once less than 30 miles into a 100 miler. Got pushed by two other riders the 20 miles to the cafe stop and after some beans on toast I was able to ride on the front much of the way back. The only good thing about the bonk is how easy it is to overcome it providing you have some food or money to get some.

    I did feel exactly like that - stoo dby the road thinking 'how will I ever get home?'!!
  • daveclow
    daveclow Posts: 164
    definitely sounds like a bonk. i have done one once really badly and i wont let it happen again! its pretty bloody scary. i had to lay next to the road whilst my mate went to the nearest post office for some jelly totts and lucazde. Once id had those i flew home as right as rain.
    i now carry 1 bottle of carb drink and some lucozade tablets.
    I believe that if you start to feel that way again its too late. you should be keeping topped up as you go, even if you feel great.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,077
    daveclow wrote:
    definitely sounds like a bonk. i have done one once really badly and i wont let it happen again! its pretty bloody scary. i had to lay next to the road whilst my mate went to the nearest post office for some jelly totts and lucazde. Once id had those i flew home as right as rain.
    i now carry 1 bottle of carb drink and some lucozade tablets.
    I believe that if you start to feel that way again its too late. you should be keeping topped up as you go, even if you feel great.

    I bet you will! I've done it numerous times, some days it happens despite you feeling like you've taken loads of food on. So much depends on how well supplied your body is starting out. The last time it happened to me was New Year's Eve on my first ride out after all the snow, only went out for about 35 to 40 miles so didn't take much with me. Ended up almost stopping at a corner shop to trade in my mobile as a deposit on some chocolate :oops: