Second ride on roads, 60 miles in 4 hours, did I bonk ???

Simonhi
Simonhi Posts: 229
edited October 2011 in Road beginners
As above, only my second ever ride on the smooth stuff, munched down 5 Clif Bars, 2 before I left, then at 20, 35 and 45 miles, expected to do 55 miles, ended up going a little further.

Now, question is, not knowing what it is like to bonk, did I hit my limit five miles from home ? Had two very steep climbs, fairly short, first one (worst) was about three quarters of a mile long, dunno what grade but I was in my second to lowest gear (39/27) and last one slightly shorter but got much steeper at the last few hundred, legs burning, me wincing, my fitter mate laughing.

So did I reach my limit or did I not eat enough ? Might also help to know that the ride was done at mid-day, no brekkie to speak of (none in fact), out for a curry the night before plus a few lagers, nothing mad but still probably way down on carbs.

Dunno if I need to eat more next time (probably, at least something in the morning), but after 55 miles felt like I'd hit a wall, especially after those last two climbs.

Oh, an I know Rule 5 etc etc .... :-)

Alll comments and advise gratefully received.

Cheers,

Si :-)

ps - six foot three bloke 35 years old, 15 stone and shrinking
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Comments

  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    So did I reach my limit

    Yes.

    Take it easier building up the mileage before you do yourself an injury. Here is a good plan as an example:

    http://www.doitforcharity.com/cycling-t ... guide.aspx

    Notice that it doesn't start at 60 mile rides for beginners :)
  • five Clif bars in four hours is pretty impressive.... that's 1150 kcals, so I don't think bonking due to lack of energy is the problem.
  • five Clif bars in four hours is pretty impressive.... that's 1150 kcals, so I don't think bonking due to lack of energy is the problem.

    agree - your challenge will be fitness and distance conditioning, not available carbs
    A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it

    Canyon Aeroad 7.0 summer missile
    Trek 2.1 winter hack
  • Mayhemwmb
    Mayhemwmb Posts: 108
    I don't know how tired you were - I've 'Bonked' once and gave myself a real fright - felt like someone had let all the air out of my tyres whilst I turned into a hurricane force headwind. I could turn the pedals but didn't seem to make any progress.
    I was miles from home but conveniently near a cafe - had a really sweet cup of tea and some fruit cake and then took my time getting home.

    Always fuelled properly since then on big rides and carry emergency bars and £10 in my seat bag just in case!!!!
  • Simonhi
    Simonhi Posts: 229
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    So did I reach my limit

    Yes.

    Take it easier building up the mileage before you do yourself an injury. Here is a good plan as an example:

    http://www.doitforcharity.com/cycling-t ... guide.aspx

    Notice that it doesn't start at 60 mile rides for beginners :)

    Sorry should have also explained, I ride an MTB fairly regularly (30-40miles gentle XC, but spread out over a longer period of time) and my singlespeed gets an airing once or twice a week on a local flat 20 miler too.

    Just never felt an instant drop in energy before, so probably wasn't lack of food then ?
  • tc345
    tc345 Posts: 98
    If you had the bonk then i reckon you'd know!

    Only had it once but i sure as hell knew when it did. Any effort on the pedals was too much for me and my whole body felt weak. I also found that it was impossible to get my breath back if i stopped and any slight incline was a killer.

    This of course happened on a sunday afternoon 20 miles from home when all the village shops were closed and the best i could get was a bag of nuts from a pub. Lesson well and truly learned!
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Sorry bloke but I still see this as just doing too much for your current level. Going from 30-40 miles spread over a longer period (along with the odd 20 spin on the flat) to an intense 60 miler with lumps is what caused your problem. Most folks would also suffer if they had beers and curry, skipped breakfast and then cycled 60 miles at someone else's pace. Surprised you didn't also add in spinning with just the one leg :wink:

    My advice is the same as above, pick an easier target/plan, build your way up (some weeks doing the same distance in less time, some weeks going a bit further, some weeks doing more lumps) and you will improve...and then make your mate suffer as recompense :twisted:

    Eating more Cliff bars is not the answer to this one. :)
  • Simonhi
    Simonhi Posts: 229
    Cheers Bobbinogs that's what I was hoping for !!! I didn't think it was soley down to a lack of food.

    I could probably have prepared myself better for it (by not drinking, curry binging and starving myself on the day of the ride) but I genuinely felt great until about mile 55. Legs were good, breathing fairly relaxed, mate was trying not to smoke me on every climb, just did not know if this was hitting a wall or not.

    Agree, I probably have tried to go for too much too soon, just find it loads of fun at the moment.

    Shame with the evening now closing it it will probably be my singlespeed that gets the regular caning during the week with the road bike getting a look in every weekend.

    Cheers again, it all good advice :-)
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd probably do 60 miles with no breakfast and maybe 1 energy bar - so I dont see that it was fuel related ? Maybe a bit long and a bit fast ?
  • there's a certain amount of delirium in a bonk though - if your eyelids were drooping and you thought the poodle on the pavement was a stray lamb, that's a bonk.
  • suzyb
    suzyb Posts: 3,449
    Does the amount of energy you require depend on how fit you are.
  • suzyb wrote:
    Does the amount of energy you require depend on how fit you are.

    I'd say probably only in that the fitter you are, the faster you ride, the more cals per hour you need to take on .... ?
  • Simonhi
    Simonhi Posts: 229
    there's a certain amount of delirium in a bonk though - if your eyelids were drooping and you thought the poodle on the pavement was a stray lamb, that's a bonk.

    I wasn't delirious, just in a bit of pain, weak feeling and not sure if I would make the final miles.

    The red wine and ale later on made me delirious !!!
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Eating curry before a 60 miler means bonking is the least of your worries. :lol:
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • nhoj
    nhoj Posts: 129
    tc345 wrote:
    If you had the bonk then i reckon you'd know!

    Only had it once but i sure as hell knew when it did. Any effort on the pedals was too much for me and my whole body felt weak. I also found that it was impossible to get my breath back if i stopped and any slight incline was a killer.

    This of course happened on a sunday afternoon 20 miles from home when all the village shops were closed and the best i could get was a bag of nuts from a pub. Lesson well and truly learned!

    Completely agree.

    Some things are better learned the hard way.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Bonk is when you run out of blood glycogen and your metabolism switches over to deeper reserves - it affects different people in different ways, but symptoms include tingling of the extremities, tunnel vision and a complete dearth of energy. Training improves your economy i.e. your efficiency at burning energy. Sounds like you've just gone too hard rather than bonk i.e. muscle fatigue rather than running out of energy.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • five Clif bars in four hours is pretty impressive.... that's 1150 kcals, so I don't think bonking due to lack of energy is the problem.

    agree - your challenge will be fitness and distance conditioning, not available carbs

    like I said…… :wink:
    A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it

    Canyon Aeroad 7.0 summer missile
    Trek 2.1 winter hack
  • five Clif bars in four hours is pretty impressive.... that's 1150 kcals, so I don't think bonking due to lack of energy is the problem.

    agree - your challenge will be fitness and distance conditioning, not available carbs

    like I said…… :wink:
    A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it

    Canyon Aeroad 7.0 summer missile
    Trek 2.1 winter hack
  • Garz
    Garz Posts: 1,155
    Simonhi wrote:
    Sorry should have also explained, I ride an MTB fairly regularly (30-40miles gentle XC, but spread out over a longer period of time) and my singlespeed gets an airing once or twice a week on a local flat 20 miler too.

    Just never felt an instant drop in energy before, so probably wasn't lack of food then ?

    This does not relate to you being in the beginner category tbh. Eating a curry the night before and a few lagers is hardly preparation, but is tons of carbs and stodge. A deserved experience I would say. :wink:
  • thiscocks
    thiscocks Posts: 549
    cougie wrote:
    I'd probably do 60 miles with no breakfast and maybe 1 energy bar - so I dont see that it was fuel related ? Maybe a bit long and a bit fast ?

    Why would you do 60m with no breakfast?
  • Simonhi
    Simonhi Posts: 229
    thiscocks wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    I'd probably do 60 miles with no breakfast and maybe 1 energy bar - so I dont see that it was fuel related ? Maybe a bit long and a bit fast ?

    Why would you do 60m with no breakfast?

    Didn't get round to it, regularly do 30-40miles off road which is a fair run too.

    I know I could have been better prepared but hey ho it was Fri night and I fancied letting off a little steam, it's not like I'm training for an event, I'm just enjoying being a noob on the roads.
  • geebee2
    geebee2 Posts: 248
    Now, question is, not knowing what it is like to bonk, did I hit my limit five miles from home ?

    It sounds as if you did reach some kind of limit, the limit where you cannot keep a fast pace, but can still proceed at a slower pace.

    With a real bonk, you would be off with the fairies, you might fall off your bike entirely, and if you went into a shop, you would get odd looks by being unable to walk straight.

    I think maybe if you had continued another 5 to 10 miles into a really strong headwind, you would be close... although you had plenty of food, so I'm not convinced.

    I don't think I have ever been too bad, but a few weeks ago I did a long ride on Saturday ( 6 hours on mountain bike, maybe 8000 feet of ascent ) followed by a long Sunday ride on sore legs, with insufficient food, and got caught in a strong headwind riding back solo. I went into a shop, and was asked "if I was alright" :oops:

    The cure is simply some nutrition. I was ok to continue after a few minutes.
  • Simonhi
    Simonhi Posts: 229
    edited October 2011
    geebee2 wrote:
    It sounds as if you did reach some kind of limit, the limit where you cannot keep a fast pace, but can still proceed at a slower pace.

    With a real bonk, you would be off with the fairies, you might fall off your bike entirely, and if you went into a shop, you would get odd looks by being unable to walk straight.

    This is what i think happened too, hit a limit or sorts but not the complete limit, whereby I was incapacitated to continue, just a very weak feeling.

    I would love to go and find those two small hills again to see if they are merely bumps that have turned into mountains due to my spent state.

    All advise is gratefully received, whilst I may not be the perfect figure of a man in training, I do like to know that I'm not wasting my time when expending such a lot of effort.

    I think most of us on here enjoy the odd drink and food that is tasty but probably best left until after a biggish ride, but hey, life is for living and loving !!!

    Cheers again peeps.

    Si :-)
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,199
    Doesn't sound like the bonk, sounds like you just hit the limit of your endurance for want of a better term (i.e. you were knackered!). As others have said, once you've had the bonk you know it. You will want to climb off the bike and sleep in the hedge, you find yourself craving food, talking to yourself and it takes all your will power just to keep riding. Your whole body has had enough including your brain!
  • I nearly got apprehended in the WHSmiths at Guildford station for staggering in and helping myself to their confectionery without asking, crumbs spilling out down my front like the cookie monster.

    What amazed me was how liong it took to get over it - the immediate space cadet symptoms went as soon as I got some stuff inside me but I felt ... emotional until I went to bed that night, and not quite right the next day ....
  • Pru
    Pru Posts: 53
    Silly question, but what's 'bonking'? and don't say "When a man loves a woman very much..."
  • thiscocks wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    I'd probably do 60 miles with no breakfast and maybe 1 energy bar - so I dont see that it was fuel related ? Maybe a bit long and a bit fast ?

    Why would you do 60m with no breakfast?

    To train the body harder
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 42,199
    Pru wrote:
    Silly question, but what's 'bonking'? and don't say "When a man loves a woman very much..."

    It's when your body has used up all its glycogen stores, i.e. fuel, and gives up on you. It is one of the worst feelings you can experience, especially if you are a long way from home!
  • danowat
    danowat Posts: 2,877
    5 cliff bars for a 60 mile ride :shock: , I probably have less cals than that for a 100 mile time trial :lol:
  • Simonhi
    Simonhi Posts: 229
    danowat wrote:
    5 cliff bars for a 60 mile ride :shock: , I probably have less cals than that for a 100 mile time trial :lol:

    I was hungry :lol: , I'd skipped brekko and still had the taste of curry in my mouth :oops:

    Plus, they were the peanut butter ones which taste facking sweet !!!