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Old 01-26-08, 05:29 PM   #1
mark123
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got the chills...why?

I am presently on extended tour. Yesterday I did 126km in the hills with my 100lbs rig, my best day yet. It was a cool, cloudy day, I had breakfast, ate several bananas, and some junk food. I drank two liter of water and two 16oz sodas. At the end of the day I had dinner, a quart of gatorade and a quart of soda then a couple of hours later I started shivering to the point my teeth were chattering. What is my body telling me? Is this from not eating enough? not drinking enough? Does it have to do with sugar level? Does it have to do with electrolyte or amino acids? Is this "bonking"? How do I prohibit it from happening?

I experienced this once before last summer after a 175km ride. I consulted with an MD about it and all she could say was that "I over did it". I was hoping for a more precise answer, and some recommendations as to how it could be prevented.

thank you
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Old 01-26-08, 06:06 PM   #2
nancy sv
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Me thinks it was just plain ol' exhaustion. But then, what do I know??
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Old 01-26-08, 06:13 PM   #3
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Bonking is simply low blood sugar ... exactly the same thing as the insulin shock a diabetic might experience. If you had described your symptoms as "shaking" rather than "shivering to the point my teeth were chattering", then I might agree that you were in the very early stages of a bonk. And if you combined the description with things like irritability, lack of ability to concentrate, extreme weakness, dizziness, and nausea, I'd say were in the early stages of a bonk.

Lack of electrolytes usually makes you weak and nauseated, even to the point of throwing up, but you don't mention anything about those sorts of things.

So I a couple questions for you ...

What did you wear on this trip of yours?
How cool was it?
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Old 01-26-08, 06:36 PM   #4
Niles H.
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Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
I am presently on extended tour. Yesterday I did 126km in the hills with my 100lbs rig, my best day yet. It was a cool, cloudy day, I had breakfast, ate several bananas, and some junk food. I drank two liter of water and two 16oz sodas. At the end of the day I had dinner, a quart of gatorade and a quart of soda then a couple of hours later I started shivering to the point my teeth were chattering. What is my body telling me? Is this from not eating enough? not drinking enough? Does it have to do with sugar level? Does it have to do with electrolyte or amino acids? Is this "bonking"? How do I prohibit it from happening?

I experienced this once before last summer after a 175km ride. I consulted with an MD about it and all she could say was that "I over did it". I was hoping for a more precise answer, and some recommendations as to how it could be prevented.

thank you
mark
markschaumann.com
"...my best day yet...."

Was it really that great?

It sounds like you might do well re-examining, exploring and revising your tour priorities/values. You could replace 'the more miles the better' with something else.

Why not slow down?

This couple set out on a long tour consciously taking it slow and enjoying it,

http://youtube.com/watch?v=sR48gwaNbm0

http://youtube.com/watch?v=3rDLpS-Vnis&feature=related

(--especially from 05:26 on)


http://youtube.com/watch?v=WLiAyDJsDXQ

In another episode, they mention how happy they are taking it slow, and how much more they are enjoying that style of touring.

Last edited by Niles H.; 01-28-08 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:48 PM   #5
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A couple of observations/suggestions.

You're in the hills? The temps are likely cooler than on the flatlands. If you kept the same clothes on after finishing riding, and put out a decent amount of effort for the day, your clothes are likely retaining a fair amount of sweat. Cooler temps, evaporation, cooling effect... it adds up to feeling chilled. It is not unusual for long-distance riders to experience this. Especially when it is combined with tiredness from a long session of exertion. And if you have been extending yourself for several days in a row, this can manifest itself.

What sort of suburn protection did you have? You were riding in the hills where it could be argued the atmospheric protection from UV rays is lessened. If you have any sort of sunburn, even on the arms or legs or both, and around the back of your neck, you *will* suffer some of the symptoms you describe, and more so if you are fair-skinned. The worse the sunburn, the more likely you are to get into a state of shivering. I don't know the physiological reasons why. I've experienced it a bit over the years sailing, cycling, and workng outdoors.

Everyone has different reasons and styles for touring or simply riding a bicycle. Many of us take a degree of pride in how we perform on our bikes... often, once we have achieved that distance "goal", we settle back into a routine of shorter distances.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:58 PM   #6
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I tend to agree with Rowan. Chills, shivering and chattering teeth mean you're cold. It's your body's way of warming itself up.
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Old 01-26-08, 07:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
I am presently on extended tour. Yesterday I did 126km in the hills with my 100lbs rig, my best day yet. It was a cool, cloudy day, I had breakfast, ate several bananas, and some junk food. I drank two liter of water and two 16oz sodas. At the end of the day I had dinner, a quart of gatorade and a quart of soda then a couple of hours later I started shivering to the point my teeth were chattering. What is my body telling me? Is this from not eating enough? not drinking enough? Does it have to do with sugar level? Does it have to do with electrolyte or amino acids? Is this "bonking"? How do I prohibit it from happening?
I've put in some long days while touring, including long days in cold and rainy weather, but I've never experienced what you've described.

Start by evaluating what you're eating and drinking. Junk food and sodas are not your friends when you're on the road. You need proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats and you need to be careful of heavily refined foods and junk food. Make sure you're getting a balanced diet and keep some healthy snack food with you. I'm also wondering if you're cutting yourself short of water. Two litres in a day is not much. I'll often go through twice that much while I'm riding and another two or three litres after I've stopped for the day. Soda is not a proper substitute for water.

In addition, if you're traveling with a fully loaded bike, it's a good idea to stop and rest a bit during the day. You're moving a lot of weight. If you don't pace yourself and take regular rest breaks, you'll have a miserable trip.
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Old 01-26-08, 07:19 PM   #8
Niles H.
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Originally Posted by mark123 View Post
I am presently on extended tour. Yesterday I did 126km in the hills with my 100lbs rig, my best day yet. It was a cool, cloudy day, I had breakfast, ate several bananas, and some junk food. I drank two liter of water and two 16oz sodas. At the end of the day I had dinner, a quart of gatorade and a quart of soda then a couple of hours later I started shivering to the point my teeth were chattering. What is my body telling me? Is this from not eating enough? not drinking enough? Does it have to do with sugar level? Does it have to do with electrolyte or amino acids? Is this "bonking"? How do I prohibit it from happening?....
Don't push yourself too hard.

Eat right.

Sounds like your diet isn't that great.

Your body needs more of all sorts of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, proteins, and other nutrients to keep up with these performances.

*****
A couple on a long, two-year tour crashed badly, physiologically, part way into their tour.

One doctor couldn't figure it out.

They kept trying, but couldn't keep riding well at all. They almost gave up.

Another doctor figured it out.

They needed rest, and a replenishment of depleted nutrients.

****
It helps a lot to concentrate on (make your diet rich in, or full of) those foods that are most nutritious, most nutrient-rich.
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Old 01-26-08, 07:36 PM   #9
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It's also very easy to underestimate the sheer amount of food you need for extended touring.

I did this myself on my early tours.

Calories themselves -- as well as all the other kinds of nourishment -- are very important.

You can easily need three or four times as much food as usual.
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Old 01-26-08, 07:50 PM   #10
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Just how high up have you been going Mark? Is this starting to get into the Andes? An altitude of 2000 metres might have something to do with what you are feeling.
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Old 01-26-08, 11:45 PM   #11
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Sounds like you need a rest day?
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Old 01-27-08, 07:11 AM   #12
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Protien.
You need it! Eat it!
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Old 01-27-08, 01:33 PM   #13
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I've gotten chills for three reasons:
  1. I was cold.
  2. I had a fever.
  3. I had heat stroke.
Do any of those sound possible?
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Old 01-27-08, 03:28 PM   #14
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i think this is your body telling you to take it easy.126 km carrying 100 lb how long did it take you to do this ride it should have taken you all day and how often were you drinking and eating ,my guess is you were going really well on the day and decided to push it on get as many miles in as possible and forgot to fuel the body ,resulting in exhsustion ,think back on the ride and how your day went and learn from it
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Old 01-31-08, 11:47 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the responses, I wasnt expecting so many. I checked out some of your bios and websites, it looks like we have a lot of experience here. Nancy and her familys upcoming trip looks truly incréidable, Ill be following that one closely.

As far as my chills go, the one thing I can assure you is that it was NOT from cold or cool temperatures, that would be easy to recognize, and it was not cold.

I frequently don´t drink enough on cool days, I suppose that might have been the problem but I doubt it. I will be entering big time heat soon and will keep a close eye on my water intake, heat stroke is deadly.

Could it have been the early stages of a bonk? Yeah, I think maybe so, if that was the case, (low blood sugar) then I should have ate MORE junk food right? I mean it only stands to reason right? low sugar? add sugar.

What Rowan said about sunburn was interesting. I frequently put the sunblock on too late, that could have very much been a factor.

Was it exhaustion? I´ve suffered from exhaustion many times in my life, I generally just collapse and go to sleep, not lie there under blankets shivering.

Did I not eat enough? This I think is the most pausible explanation. This is what I thought from the beginning was probably the problem. When the body burns all the calories that it has, then what does it do? What are the symptoms? It has to be a common problem.

Thanks for all the help

I am having a grand time on this tour, Ive been on the road 22 days with 10 of those days being rest days. I am cooling my feet at Mexican beach for a couple of days, nice room is $18usd, internet $1 hr, dinner $4, and the mexican people are the finest.
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