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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    bonked close to finish, recommendations?

    Hello guys and gals,

    This summer I have been riding very regularly (3-4 times a week), my weekend rides have gone up from 13 miles to 17-24 miles. I now climb a lot more hills with moderate effort than I used to, I have also lost 17 pounds in about 50 days. Today, I decided to push myself a little bit and did a 30 mile ride, but at mile 28, I bonked. I could not push the pedal any further. This happened very quickly, I was doing pretty good until then. As for food, I had half a clif bar before I left, the other half midway, and one bottle of GU2O throughout, and several refills of water along the way. After I bonked, I had to eat half a clifbar and as much water as I had left, and waited 5 minutes before starting again, but I still did not recover well until after I had come home and gulped down 12 oz cold GU2O.

    I was out a total of 3 hours, total riding time was 2.26 hrs and mileage was 30.55. I would like to find out how to avoid bonking. Apparantly, any solid food will take some time to digest and give you energy, but its not possible to carry a lot of GU2O, and even if I carry the powder with me, water is not always available midway. Must I buy those gooey gels; dont think I will like those, moreover dont want to have to spend 5 bucks on every ride.

    Bring on your suggestions.

  2. #2
    lurker
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    Did you get hungry at any point during the ride? You say you had half a clifbar before you left. Was this on top of a regular meal? When was the last time you had really eaten? If I am going to do a long ride, I make sure to have a sizeable meal about an hour before the start of the ride, and then I have a small snack (like half a clif bar) right before I start.

    Also, how hot was it? If it was hotter than it usually is when you go riding, that may be the entire answer.

    You say you do 17-24 mile rides. How do you usually feel at the end of those?
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I had eaten a two egg omelette, 8oz milk with whey half an hour before the ride and just before the ride I had half a clif bar. It was indeed very hot around 95, so I think you're right about the temperature thing. I dont get very tired or hungry and never bonk on my longer rides that are done in the morning. I went out around 10 and got back at 1pm, so I got a lot of heat.

  4. #4
    lurker
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    There you go. I have had this exact same experience, but the cause was a little more obvious for me. A buddy and I started our ride around 10am. It was a 50 mile ride, and the first 35-40 miles were done in two hours. Then, we broke out of the trees into full noon sun with a heat index over 110. It took us another hour to finish those 10 miles, and to this day, I think they were the hardest 10 miles I ever rode.
    When I smile and wave, don't be afriad, it's just the southerner in me.

  5. #5
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    Damn it! I hope I did not lose too much muscle, there was a 10 minute interval between bonking and when I got home and had 100 calories worth GU2O and a meal soon thereafter. I should just stop being conservative and start eating more on the ride. Thanks fryth and mothra for your insight into this.

  6. #6
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    You didn't bonk. You were probably suffering from heat exhaustion. It would be unusual to bonk after only 30 miles at the speed you were riding. But 2 hours exercising in the heat can cause problems if you are not used to it.

  7. #7
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    You didn't bonk. You were probably suffering from heat exhaustion. It would be unusual to bonk after only 30 miles at the speed you were riding. But 2 hours exercising in the heat can cause problems if you are not used to it.
    This is what I was thinking. I usually ride at night or in the early morning when it is cool. I once did a ride with no shade and it was over 95 degrees in mid-day. I could feel the heat coming off of the pavement. So even the breeze was really hot. The distance was quite doable for me, 18 miles. But, less than half way I just died.

    Fortunately I found a garden hose at a local school and hosed myself off. Previous to this, I was going through water at twice my normal rate. The hosing did the trick and I finished the ride.

    I find that true bonking is more gradual. You know its coming for quite a while before you hit the wall.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Thanks for the perspective supcom and slowandsteady. I plan to do a similar ride this saturday, only very early in the morning before it gets any hot. Let's see how I do it this time.
    Currently Riding: Trek 3500
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