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Old 07-09-06, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by PanzerGirl
I keep seeing some posts that mention bonking. Is it some kind of mid-biking activity that's really fun? Trying to figure out if I should bonk but I don't know if it's something you do alone or in a group activity or what. Can someone please be a sweetheart and fill me in? I ask at the risk of sounding like a dork to the professionals here..but I have an eagerness for learning. >.>

Your brain runs on sugar, and to make sure that it has enough sugar, it has a protection mechanism built in. If the amount of reserve sugar in your liver runs low, your body basically shuts down your muscles so that the brain can have enough sugar to proceed (there are mechanisms to make sugar when you don't have any, but they don't make very much).

That is bonking. Interestingly, it's related to the amount of sugar that you have in your liver stores - you can have sufficient sugar in your muscles, but there's no pathway to get that back into the bloodstream.

Typically, bonking happens when riders either don't have enough food or forget to drink. It has a very quick onset - you can go from feeling good to feeling rotten in the space of 5 minutes. At that point, your performance goes *way* down - you go from riding easily at 17MPH to having trouble to go 12 MPH.

The timeframe depends upon how much glycogen you had stored, when you ate last, how hard you were working, and other factors.

The only treatment is to get some sugar into your body and take 20 minutes or so. Any sugar is good. That will let you get home, but you will still be miserable.

Note that if you have friends who are from Austrailia or New Zealand, "bonk" means something totally different to them...

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