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    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    I bonked today :/

    Ok so today I planned to get up and go for a 10 mile ride since it was a nice Saturday morning. I have a route that I take that takes me to the other side of town and back to my driveway that leaves me at a little over 10 miles. At about the 7.5 mile mark I decided to take a slightly different route that would give me about the same distance. I had never rode this way before so I was not prepared for how hilly it was. I got up about 1/4 of the way and completely lost all energy. I think the reason was because I didn't get enough food for breakfast. The only thing is, is that I had the same breakfast two days before and had ridden 10 miles. It sucked! I broke down and called my brother to come pick me up because I didn't even have the energy to walk the rest of the way home. It was embarrassing to say the least watching all the cars passing my while I waiting on the side of the road

  2. #2
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    I always keep something on the bike for emergency refueling. A gel packet, or the like. If / when I bonk, I stop, use the gel or whatever, drink, and rest a bit. When the carbs kick in, you can finish out the ride.
    With every ride, I get a little stronger. I gain a little stamina. I gain a little pride. And so I await the next ride...

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    I can’t imagine calling anyone for assistance as I’ve been self-reliant for far too many decades however, I certainly don’t frown upon anyone who calls for assistance. I pride myself with being able to complete that which I commit to. Being that I absolutely refuse to call anyone for assistance (and I detest talking on the phone especially per dropout via modern day wireless devices), I have no need for a wireless communication device, so I don’t own one and likely never will. Part of the thrill for me––particularly via my longer distance rides––is realizing that my success is entirely up to me, so my longer distance rides are as much missions of survival as they are riding adventures, which makes them all the more exciting to look forward to and gratifying upon their completion.

    I honestly can’t fathom bonking after just 10 miles, as I routinely ride the first 25~26 miles of my long distance rides at a brisk pace without drinking or eating. I’ve repetitively pushed myself to see how far I can go without food and water and by 40+ miles my thigh muscles will typically Charlie horse and stop me in my tracks. But even after the Charlie horses subside several minutes later, I’m still not in a state of bonked, as I can continue, but at an easier pace until I eat and drink accordingly. I’ve come to realize however, that it’s far better to avoid Charlie horses by eating and drinking frequently, so now I do.

    On August 24, 2013 (age 57), I rode my first 200-mile ride (to and from Jim Thorpe, PA), but I made certain that I ate and drank every 15 miles on average and I didn’t experience any Charlie horses or bonking over the entire distance. I had a great time on that ride and can hardly wait to go again.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    I wouldnt say you bonked but rather took on more than you can handle. A 'bonk' is more in line of when your body becomes depleted of fuel. You dont have enough fuel to maintain your exertion and so you bonk. Ive bonked but it was at mile 30 while attacking a 10%, mile-long hill in hot weather. In your case, Id imagine the route you took was just too tough for your experience. However, both scenarios are tough to get over so you definitely did the right thing getting help. Good call

  5. #5
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Bonking truly sucks! Don't feel bad at all, it happens to everyone. As long as you can learn from it, ie keep atleast something with for your rides. Next time, you will nail it!
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member rgwinn's Avatar
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    I had a 15 year break from cycling. I spent 4 months with a new diet, and hitting the gym three days a week before I started riding again. The gym work, and the lost weight, paid off.

    I have now done a few 23 mile loops with no problems. Feels good to finish with the group.
    Remember; "You only DIE once, you live every day"

  7. #7
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    I agree with rgwinn. I got back of my bike at the beginning of June this year. At first I was finding 7 and 8 milers really hard work. Now, 624 miles later I'm flying round 25 milers.

    Stick with it, the fitness comes !

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    I wouldnt say you bonked but rather took on more than you can handle. A 'bonk' is more in line of when your body becomes depleted of fuel. You dont have enough fuel to maintain your exertion and so you bonk. Ive bonked but it was at mile 30 while attacking a 10%, mile-long hill in hot weather. In your case, Id imagine the route you took was just too tough for your experience. However, both scenarios are tough to get over so you definitely did the right thing getting help. Good call
    Absolutely agree with this. Unless you have some metabolic problems, you should have enough glycogen in your body to last a couple of hours. Over-exertion, though -- that can happen at any time.
    Scott CR1 Team

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    Regardless of what actually happened, the suggestion about taking some food is good. I take an apple and energy bar and some water in my trunk bag on most rides. Also just a stop and a rest may get you perking again too.

    Better luck next time, sometimes it takes a few tries to get used to the distance.

  10. #10
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    I wouldnt say you bonked but rather took on more than you can handle.
    It might not of been a bonk but I looked up what a bonk was it what happened to me fit the definition. The same thing happened last year when I was a camp counselor at a diabetic camp. I'm not diabetic but when I dont have a very good supper and then I wake up and don't get a good breakfast and then try to go for a ride I start showing symptoms of hypoglycemia. All I know is my head was spinning and I couldn't make my muscles move lol. Because I've done routes tougher than that before so it was definitely not tough for my experience.

  11. #11
    Member codyhmrck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    I always keep something on the bike for emergency refueling.
    what is the best thing in your opinion to take on a ride for extra energy other than gels because I don't always have the time to go all the way to my LBS to get some and I don't know anywhere else to get them from.

  12. #12
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    what is the best thing in your opinion to take on a ride for extra energy other than gels because I don't always have the time to go all the way to my LBS to get some and I don't know anywhere else to get them from.
    http://www.summitpost.org/home-made-...or-less/239378

    Otherwise bananas are great!
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  13. #13
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    you don't need extra energy for a 10 mile ride.

  14. #14
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    what is the best thing in your opinion to take on a ride for extra energy other than gels because I don't always have the time to go all the way to my LBS to get some and I don't know anywhere else to get them from.
    I like clif bars, and nible them slowly, about one every 30-40 miles. You did not mention your size. I have lost 90 since I started, and can relate that what you experienced could very well have been bonk like. Like Jack Dandy said, bonking ususaly happens further along in a ride, but that is comming from someone like me who is no longer a beginner. If you are doing ten mile rides, cut the clif bar into quarters and take one of them in a baggie to eat as needed. If you are 300+, half to a full clif bar may be needed.

    I would emphasize a good breakfast. That doesn't mean a big breakfast, but quality; complex carbs and protean. My daily breakfast mon-fri is 1 oz peanut butter on a slice of whole wheat bread. Ride 7 miles to the train station, coffee with 6 g sugar (two packets). Five miles from Train station to work, banana or apple at desk.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  15. #15
    Ancient Clydesdale 2 wheeler's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS take food with me, like a energy bar, at least. I live in the middle of nowhere; there are no stores anywhere on most of the routes. It's more populated here than where I used to live...

    I just got in the habit when I lived beyond the middle of nowhere in Montana. We always carried food and water in the car as well as various things like a shovel, blanket, flares, etc. because it could be 50 to 100 miles to "civilization", on unmarked, dangerous roads. Some of that mentality carried over to riding the bike. I don't like feeling helpless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    what is the best thing in your opinion to take on a ride for extra energy other than gels because I don't always have the time to go all the way to my LBS to get some and I don't know anywhere else to get them from.
    I usually go to the local supermarket and just buy whatever cereal bar is on sale at the time. You don't really need "special" food... Some people like to crush the bars in a ziplock bag so that they can take small chunks out while they're riding. I usually try to eat 1 bar/hour.

    Also, climbing hills is a completely different skill so don't feel bad if it wasn't what you were expecting. However, it's an essential skill and it's also one of the fastest ways to lose weight.

  17. #17
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    what is the best thing in your opinion to take on a ride for extra energy other than gels because I don't always have the time to go all the way to my LBS to get some and I don't know anywhere else to get them from.
    I never felt anything from Gels.

    I carry a 6 oz or 12 oz of canned cola with me. Great when you need to STOP a bonk or recover from one.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  18. #18
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    My wife has hypoglycemia and would sympathize with you. It is not really a "bonk" but if she does not get energy supplementation regularly, she becomes faint and weak. The secret is to plan your ride with opportunities to keep the blood sugar up. Me, - I can bicycle for several hours with no nutrition - she can't. Our bodies area all quite different, and we have to appreciate the differences. She eats small peanut butter crackers and apples.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-29-13 at 06:33 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  19. #19
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    I can’t imagine calling anyone for assistance as I’ve been self-reliant for far too many decades however, I certainly don’t frown upon anyone who calls for assistance. I pride myself with being able to complete that which I commit to. Being that I absolutely refuse to call anyone for assistance (and I detest talking on the phone especially per dropout via modern day wireless devices), I have no need for a wireless communication device, so I don’t own one and likely never will. Part of the thrill for me––particularly via my longer distance rides––is realizing that my success is entirely up to me, so my longer distance rides are as much missions of survival as they are riding adventures, which makes them all the more exciting to look forward to and gratifying upon their completion.

    I honestly can’t fathom bonking after just 10 miles, as I routinely ride the first 25~26 miles of my long distance rides at a brisk pace without drinking or eating. I’ve repetitively pushed myself to see how far I can go without food and water and by 40+ miles my thigh muscles will typically Charlie horse and stop me in my tracks. But even after the Charlie horses subside several minutes later, I’m still not in a state of bonked, as I can continue, but at an easier pace until I eat and drink accordingly. I’ve come to realize however, that it’s far better to avoid Charlie horses by eating and drinking frequently, so now I do.

    On August 24, 2013 (age 57), I rode my first 200-mile ride (to and from Jim Thorpe, PA), but I made certain that I ate and drank every 15 miles on average and I didn’t experience any Charlie horses or bonking over the entire distance. I had a great time on that ride and can hardly wait to go again.
    I am so impressed with your riding!! You are an example for all of us.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
    Ok so today I planned to get up and go for a 10 mile ride since it was a nice Saturday morning. I have a route that I take that takes me to the other side of town can.
    I would also back to my driveway that leaves me at a little over 10 miles. At about the 7.5 mile mark I decided to take a slightly different route that would give me about the same distance. I had never rode this way before so I was not prepared for how hilly it was. I got up about 1/4 of the way and completely lost all energy. I think the reason was because I didn't get enough food for breakfast. The only thing is, is that I had the same breakfast two days before and had ridden 10 miles. It sucked! I broke down and called my brother to come pick me up because I didn't even have the energy to walk the rest of the way home. It was embarrassing to say the least watching all the cars passing my while I waiting on the side of the road


    I think there's no shame In getting help but you should carry something to eat and drink akin hydration powder based. The other thing I do if I ever fail a climb is keep trying it till I can I would check to make sure the gears you have are for climbing

  21. #21
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    I bonked today :/

    Not so much road but while mountain biking I just get off the bike, rest, then walk the hill. Although that works for me I always fear passing out alone in the woods haha.
    6 Bikes Still Fat

  22. #22
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    Properly fueled, you muscels can store up to about roughly 2 hrs. worth of glycogen. Unless there is some broader definition of the term that I don't know about, you "bonk" when your glycogen stores have been depleted and you have done nothing to replenish/maintain your energy supply en route. If you truly bonked in fewer than 10 miles, you were not properly fueled to begin with.

    As noted, there are some quick fixes. I like gels and/or diluted Coke. I also sometimes use diluted apple juice in a water bottle. Bars take too long to digest for a really quick fix.

    Buy the gels in bulk. When I am in that part of the season whereI know I am going to be doing a lot of long rides, I buy up to two boxes of Gu at a time. (I think there are 24 to a box.) Since I use them regularly, they are not going to go bad, assuming they can actually go bad.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  23. #23
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    I bonked today :/

    What's the brand name on the gels?
    6 Bikes Still Fat

  24. #24
    Senior Member pvillemasher's Avatar
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    Gels are good, and I use them when I'm doing a longer ride, mostly organizd/charity rides.
    But something simple to just keep with you in an emergency would be a cereal bar or a pack of those (6 per package) peanut butter crackers. No need to get too complicated about it if it's just something to chow on if you run out of gas.

    And I don't believe you bonked but I guess everyone's different. I thought I bonked a number of times until I actually bonked. It was after about 50 miles and it was probably close to 100 degrees, I had no food, only had water and ran out of water after about 40 miles. I have never felt like I had less energy in my life, I just pulled over about 2 miles from my house and asked the guy I was riding with to call my wife. He told me to relax for a few and after 15 minutes or so we rode the rest of the way home.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    instead of or in addition to synthetic foods you can go the traditional route, fig newtons, oranges, apples, and bananas...

    Bonk is low blood sugar. Depletion of glycogen.

    My SO can bonk w/o any real warning. She might wobble a bit when she usually holds quite the line. Then she crashes...

    I live low carb, and it can be quite easy for me to deplete what little stores I have. Oh, I'm low carb / persistently depleted on purpose. I was insulin resistant/pre-diabetic... and beat it... But I think I need to ensure I stay this way.

    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/E...g-The-Wall.htm

    Look up the symptoms. if they match... Bonking can be dangerous. I jumped a light in front of a left turning school bus. Could have been ugly.

    If you are bonking, please consider you're diabetes/insulin resistance / metabolic syndrome status.

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