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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    A hot ride: Is this what bonking feels like?Feel Awful.

    My whole life I have not taken the heat well. THe heat makes me feel sort of nauseaus and dizzy. Even when a couch potato.
    Last night I got like 6 1/2 hours sleep. NIght before over 8. Had a good breakfast. Cereal , banana. On the ride I took one bottle water and one large bottle of "Accerade." Usually water is more accessible. But we were out in the mountains. Two bottles/ four hours.
    We rode like four hours. 45 miles. Last 90 minutes was the toughest. Like a 4.5 grade for 8 miles. Not bad for me. That 8 miles was like 92 degrees. Lots of it was shaded. Four miles down hill. No big deal.
    Felt a slight need for more water the last 15 miles. Out in the country. there was none to be found. Had completed my bottles.
    On the way back I discovered my rear tire was thumping and tire's thread crooked. So when I got back I had to replace that. I can't let my bikes go unmaintenained. I changed the flat in the garage. It was very warm there. During the ride felt ok. While repairing the tire in the hot garage, I began to feel dizzy.
    Ate some yougart and a recovery drink. Couple hours later, I was shaking , felt dizzy, little nauseaus. My wife wanted me to go to the Doctor. My skin is red. Used sun screen.
    Wife says my body temp is over 100. Really do not want much dinner.Been taking lots of fluids. Still feel hot.It is like 5 hours after the ride. Is this normal bonking.
    I have biked in hotter conditions and far more strenous. Is this normal bonking?
    Had normal fatique up until I worked on the tire in that hot garage. I thought? thanks.
    Really weird for me. I am going to bed before dark. Wife says me fever is between 100 and 101.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 07-19-06 at 01:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Was your skin red and dry or red and still sweaty? If it was dry and red, you could have been very close to heat stroke. If it was red and wet, you may have had heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is definintely lfe threatening. Heat exhaustion can go easily to stroke if not taken care of. No matter what, you were very close to severe health problems. The lesson is to make sure you have plenty of fluids, that would have helped as well as taking some rests along the way.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    THink I sensed, during the ride, I was sweaty. Same at end of ride. After the tire change, Seems it was dry. My group stops for nothing. Including heat stress. Do not like camelbaks. The hot spot in the back. ON hot rides, I am going to have ot overcome that.

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    If you're not willing to trade your bike for a stale chocolate bar, you probably are not bonking.

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    In my opinion my health is a lot more important than the group ride. If the group really doesn't care about things like heat stroke, I would find another group.

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    So, are you feeling better? Sounds like you had heat exhaustion. Don't do that again, okay? Your wife is right about seeing the doc.

    Ice in the camelback apparently keeps your back cool. Let us know that you recovered.

  7. #7
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    what exactly is "bonking"? Severe fatigue?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

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    Quote Originally Posted by slickhare
    what exactly is "bonking"? Severe fatigue?
    Bonking is when you've used up your body's stored energy and you haven't replaced it with more calories. It goes way beyond fatigue. I'm sure someone else can give you a more technical description that uses words like 'glucose' and 'threshold', but basically you feel like you have no energy and you're hollow inside. Many people report that they barely have the energy to keep their eyes open, much less turn the cranks. The one time I bonked, I stopped and sat down by the roadside and felt OK after a few minutes, so I got back on my bike, but I couldn't pedal more then a few strokes before I felt horrible again. I made the last few miles home at about 5 mph, and I experienced tunnel vision and I think I was beginning to hallucinate. I remember very little of the last part of that trip, and I never want to repeat it.

    Bonking is like falling in love - you'll know it when you feel it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rousseau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slickhare
    what exactly is "bonking"? Severe fatigue?
    Bonking is actually slang for having sex. It's kind of bizarre that certain people in cycling circles have adopted it for another meaning, but then, people do lots of weird things!

  10. #10
    Nerd hurley.girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryE
    Bonking is when you've used up your body's stored energy and you haven't replaced it with more calories. It goes way beyond fatigue. I'm sure someone else can give you a more technical description that uses words like 'glucose' and 'threshold', but basically you feel like you have no energy and you're hollow inside. Many people report that they barely have the energy to keep their eyes open, much less turn the cranks. The one time I bonked, I stopped and sat down by the roadside and felt OK after a few minutes, so I got back on my bike, but I couldn't pedal more then a few strokes before I felt horrible again. I made the last few miles home at about 5 mph, and I experienced tunnel vision and I think I was beginning to hallucinate. I remember very little of the last part of that trip, and I never want to repeat it.

    Bonking is like falling in love - you'll know it when you feel it.
    That was an excellent description.

    When I bonk, I know that I can't stop moving. As hard as it is to keep pedaling, the minute I get off my bike to "rest", I'm done.

  11. #11
    The Other White Meat BroMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Bonking is actually slang for having sex. It's kind of bizarre that certain people in cycling circles have adopted it for another meaning, but then, people do lots of weird things!
    "Doc, you gotta help! I keep bonking ."

    Before I started learning bike talk, I called it "having a hypo"--hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood glucose. If the liver does not or cannot release stored glucose into the blood and you can't take in some food that will get some sugar quickly into the blood, you can progress from feeling vaguely unwell to shakiness, confusion, fatigue, irritability, and, at the extreme, coma. I recognize the symptoms in myself before things get dangerous but I hope if I become too confused to recognize the condition, someone else will be able to do so and get some fruit juice or honey or something into me whether I want it or not.
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    I think cyclezealot had heat stroke, perhaps combined with bonking. I hope he's okay.

  13. #13
    what. kyle!'s Avatar
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    phew! it was a hot one today. hey cyclezealot, i live near-ish you and i'll tell you, this weather is somethin'.

    i went on a 33-35 mile jaunt up and down the coast today and there's a hill at torrey pines about a mile/mile and a half long and it woooooorrreeeee meeeeee outtttttttttttt. but i rested a little bit after a made it up and felt a lot better. i was thinking of not going straight home and going to the beaches but intelligence got the best of me and i headed home.


    but i could tell after that hill i would've been in trouble if i went too much farther. had that kinda chilly feeling a little.

  14. #14
    just another biker SouthTJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau
    Bonking is actually slang for having sex. It's kind of bizarre that certain people in cycling circles have adopted it for another meaning, but then, people do lots of weird things!
    I've never heard sex called bonking. Boinking maybe but never bonking. Can you bonk while boinking?

  15. #15
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryE
    Bonking is when you've used up your body's stored energy and you haven't replaced it with more calories. It goes way beyond fatigue. I'm sure someone else can give you a more technical description that uses words like 'glucose' and 'threshold', but basically you feel like you have no energy and you're hollow inside. Many people report that they barely have the energy to keep their eyes open, much less turn the cranks. The one time I bonked, I stopped and sat down by the roadside and felt OK after a few minutes, so I got back on my bike, but I couldn't pedal more then a few strokes before I felt horrible again. I made the last few miles home at about 5 mph, and I experienced tunnel vision and I think I was beginning to hallucinate. I remember very little of the last part of that trip, and I never want to repeat it.

    Bonking is like falling in love - you'll know it when you feel it.
    That is pretty accurate. I bonked once and sat down on a bench for a half hour. Had to ride the last 3 miles at about 5 mph and it was torture.

  16. #16
    59'er Mariner Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthTJ
    I've never heard sex called bonking. Boinking maybe but never bonking. Can you bonk while boinking?
    Ahhh, a challenge!

  17. #17
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    an atheletes' physiological crash commonly called 'bonking' is distinct from heat induced illnesses.
    it is not uncommon to suffer both in concert, and each can exacerbate the other.
    their treatments are similar.


    you can definetly suffer from a energy crash and heat exaustion OR hypothermia at the same time , which is a whole different ball of wax, and with equally deadly potential.

    Having suffered all of these maladies, i'll take a plain old case of the bonks anyday.

    puking in the bushes, then riding home at 5 miles per hour is still pretty tough, but heat exhaustion/hypothermia are way more debilitating.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-22-06 at 01:03 AM.
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  18. #18
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Yeah Bonks suck....

    ....last time I bonked, I was unable to even walk the bike next to me without dropping it. This was due to me trying to keep up with some hotshots who showed up in the ride I usually do (supposed to be 18mph...these jerks turned it into a 24mph ride...I was on their asses the entire way). It was so bad that when I got home at noon (I rode home), I passed out on the couch until noon the next day, and even then was too weak to do much of anything.

    You had heat exhaustion....another fun thing I've had experience with. You need more sodium and more fluids...start looking at carrying lightly salted water, carrying more bottles, and using energy bars or gels instead of gatorade. one bottle an hour is a good measure for riding in the heat.
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  19. #19
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    Also what seperates bonking to just "hitting the wall" is that bonking will actually mess up with your brain. Tunnel vision, hallucination, etc.

  20. #20
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some Random Website
    Heat exhaustion is accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:

    * Fatigue and malaise
    * Headache
    * Fever (not exceeding 104&#176;F)
    * Dehydration
    * Rapid heartbeat
    * Dizziness, fainting
    * Nausea, vomiting
    * Muscle cramps
    * Heavy sweating or no sweating at all

    When body temperature exceeds 104&#176;F, or if coma or seizure occurs, this indicates that heat exhaustion has progressed to a condition called heat stroke. Heat stroke is a much more serious condition, placing the individual at imminent risk of cardiovascular collapse and death if not promptly reversed.
    Cyclezealot, it definitely sounds like heat exhaustion. Tell your wife so next time you're stupid enough to ignore her, she'll overrule you.

    Oh and additionally, a good thing to do would have been to take a cold shower or bath. Your body was heated beyond its ability to cool itself, so you need to help it out. That's probably what a doctor would have had you do, I don't think there's any medicine they can give you or anything.

    And that site also said in the US about 380 people per year die from heat-related causes, only half of them are elderly (so the other half are people just like you and me).
    Last edited by Eggplant Jeff; 07-21-06 at 07:50 PM.
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    Senior Member spinbackle's Avatar
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    Get yourself a Camelbak or carry more fluids. Freeze the bottles solid (with the exception of the bottle you're gonna drink first...freeze half of it). Eat frequently. Do not cycle in the middle of the day if it's gonna get hot (we all know this though, don't we?). This is advice given from firsthand experience...bonked/heat exhaustion pulling a kid on a trail-a-bike in Texas in June. Could not make it the last 1.5 mi. home and had to have cyclist accompanying us fetch us in a P/U truck.

    P.S. Do not eat @ Dairy Queen midride (the Chicken Finger Basket sure was good) and expect it to stay put. I gave it 1 hour before we resumed our ride and it sat on stomach like lead dirigible (yes, I know better).
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroMax
    "Doc, you gotta help! I keep bonking ."

    Before I started learning bike talk, I called it "having a hypo"--hypoglycemia or abnormally low blood glucose. If the liver does not or cannot release stored glucose into the blood and you can't take in some food that will get some sugar quickly into the blood, you can progress from feeling vaguely unwell to shakiness, confusion, fatigue, irritability, and, at the extreme, coma. I recognize the symptoms in myself before things get dangerous but I hope if I become too confused to recognize the condition, someone else will be able to do so and get some fruit juice or honey or something into me whether I want it or not.
    I know exactly what you mean about the possibility of NOT recognizing the hypoglycemia symptoms in yourself. One time this happened to me. I was just sitting in my car at the time, preparing to drive. I could barely think, but knew something was drastically wrong with me. My heart seemed to be pounding, and I was disoriented. Thankfully, I didn't start to drive.

    A sugary doughnut was right next to me in a bag. I kept thinking to myself that "I should really eat that." But I thought about it for about ten minutes--before I finally did it ! My brain just wasn't connecting the dots. After finally eating the doughnut, I felt considerably better in about 10-15 minutes.

    By the way, I experienced a "warning" symptom when I happened to look into the mirror in the rest room of the gas station where my car was parked. A kind of wavering, watery film was in the center of my vision, and just wouldn't go away. At the time I didn't connect that that may have been a hypoglycemia symptom.

    Interestingly, many doctors don't believe hypoglycemia is "real."

    David in PA/FL

  23. #23
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Velo girl and couple others asked if I Were still alive. Thanks.
    Finally, I think I am. Reason, I let it get out of control, I thought less than 2 hours of 92 degrees to not be that big a deal. But, Then I have never taken the heat that well.
    that first night I started feeling tremors about 9 pm; after taking a luke warm bath. At times they were pretty violent. Here, the emergency medical system sends a para-medic team out if warranted. They felt my condition required a doctor's house call. He looked me over and gave me a valium shot. I have Had two very weak days.(Doctor's house call, can you imagine that. Wonder how violent shaking in an emergency clinic would have effected my priority.?) All for 47 euros.
    I suspect from the valium shot some kind of after effects on my digestive function has resulted and will see the doctor tomorrow. I have lost weight due to dehydration. Drinking lots of fluids and my wife is great. With the loss of sleep I am cranky as hell.
    The doctor did say it was heat exhaustion. Strange, during the ride, I felt ok. It was the work on the bike in the hot garage that got me weak. How do you know when to stop a ride, then?
    I guess I will have to agree camelbak's are vital. I will try lacing it with ice and see it that stops the back's hot spots.
    We all agree, two bottles of water is not enough for a four hour ride out into the isolated foothills. ? Some have suggested like one bottle per half an hour? I did hydrate before I left the house with a bottle of accelerade? So that makes for three bottles, actually? I did have a half cup of coffee with half milk with my cereal and banana that morning.
    Have not spoken to my bike group since Wednesays' ride and missing out on todays ride. Hope they will be considerate of what happened to me and take a rest. They seem anxious to get back to the club house and have their 'apertif'.
    When bike touring here with my American friends, I can't keep them out of the pasty shop. HEre, even though the riders are not race oriented, they stop for nothing. I thought the locals loved their cuisine?
    See how they react to my problems.
    I assure you. with the dehydration problem, I am anxious to try out some of my tighter jersey's. thanks all and yes, a good definition of bonking.
    Don't let this happen to you. Another hour of riding I'd probably landed in the hospital, if I were lucky. As is, I've been pretty useless for five days now.
    Those in favor of Camelbaks have a point. I find when racing up hills to stay with my group, I do not grab a bottle of water, even when I desire one. Temporary pauses to do anything other than ride causes them to maybe get out of sight. With that hose about your chin, that would be less likely.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 07-23-06 at 04:02 AM.

  24. #24
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    cycle,
    Please! Your health is worth much more than any group ride. Screw them if they won't stop for someone. You deserve a better group who cares about people instead of the ride ending point. I can't believe you don't feel better yet.

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Both my 'country/light' touring bike and my 'heavy' loaded tourer have five water bottle cages on it. and i use full liter, Zefal Magnums for full day summer rides.......
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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