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I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The dreaded BONK!

I've totally blown up at the end of 3 rides this season, somewhere around the last 5, 8, 12 miles of the rides. Not because I pushed too hard but because I didn't plan accordingly. All 3 times this has happened I've went out for a decent 30 mile loop or something but end up feeling really good on the bike.. Extend my ride by another 20-30 miles and pay the price at the end of it. If I had taken a Powerbar, Drink mix, or some other form of food I would have likely been entirely fine. Instead I lose all my energy and totally destroy myself. Today I went from holding a pretty decent 19mph average and dropped to a 9-10mph crawl for the last 5 or so miles. 56 miles isn't that bad but damn.. the last 5 today killed me.

Call it inexperience and too much exuberance!
<o></o>

So.. Now I’m planning on carrying a Powerbar or something and taking at least 1 bottle full of drink mix on any ride I think might end up going longer than planned (Weekend rides usually). Slipping a 5 spot into my pockets might not be a bad idea either. I’m sick of blowing up.. it’s not good for my conditioning yet it does teach my body to deal with added stress.. Yes.. Sometimes blowing up will happen. Can I do something to limit the effects? Of course! Haha..
<o></o>


So.. How long did it take you to learn to avoid this?
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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ZoSoSwiM said:
The dreaded BONK!

I've totally blown up at the end of 3 rides this season, somewhere around the last 5, 8, 12 miles of the rides. Not because I pushed too hard but because I didn't plan accordingly. All 3 times this has happened I've went out for a decent 30 mile loop or something but end up feeling really good on the bike.. Extend my ride by another 20-30 miles and pay the price at the end of it. If I had taken a Powerbar, Drink mix, or some other form of food I would have likely been entirely fine. Instead I lose all my energy and totally destroy myself. Today I went from holding a pretty decent 19mph average and dropped to a 9-10mph crawl for the last 5 or so miles. 56 miles isn't that bad but damn.. the last 5 today killed me.

Call it inexperience and too much exuberance!
<o></o>

So.. Now I’m planning on carrying a Powerbar or something and taking at least 1 bottle full of drink mix on any ride I think might end up going longer than planned (Weekend rides usually). Slipping a 5 spot into my pockets might not be a bad idea either. I’m sick of blowing up.. it’s not good for my conditioning yet it does teach my body to deal with added stress.. Yes.. Sometimes blowing up will happen. Can I do something to limit the effects? Of course! Haha..
<o></o>


So.. How long did it take you to learn to avoid this?
Carry Gu or other gel. If you are bonking, you will feel it within 1 minute. If you don't, it's fatigue, not bonk. - TF
 

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I think that's pretty much when you learn it, to be honest.

"Man... that sucked, next time, lesson learned... bring food."

That, and plan accordingly with meals the night before. (PASTA!) Bring an energy bar of some kind on the ride, and eat it at a certain point, whether you need it or not. It's like thirst... you drink before you're thirsty, because once you're thirsty, it's too late.
 

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Failboat Captian
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Keep a $20 in your seat bag. As soon as you decide you're going to add miles, stop at a convenience store and get a couple of power bars and something to drink. If there is a grocery store, grab a banana or two.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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I always have money...there is not always a convenience store...the closest one to my house is 7 miles one way and 15 the other. I could easily ride (and have MANY times) 50 or 60 or more without coming within 20 miles of a store. I did the same thing a week ago, I was within a couple of hundred yards of my driveway, all I wanted to do was lay down in the ditch and go to sleep........but I didn't I went home and ate...and ate....and ate....

You need to carry food....I need to carry food.......
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Touch0Gray said:
I always have money...there is not always a convenience store.
One time I was out for a 60 mile Sunday ride in the summertime and between miles 10 and 50 every country store I came to was closed. I got seriously dehydrated with big white salt stains all over my jersey and shorts.
 

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I stopped taking energy bars, gu & the like. They're just expensive and really no better than old fashioned food. I take a peanut butter, honey & banana sandwich & some fig bars and that gets me through a 70 miler no problem. You can feel a fig bar in just a minute or 2 for some quick energy before a hill.
 

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When I learned about the bonk I wasn't even on a bike, I was walking. I was crash (they call them that for a reason) dieting at the time, probably getting something less than a thousand calories a day for the previous few days, and then one evening after work I took a hard power-walk (don't like running much - the power-walk is my cross training thing). There was a bit of fog, and I was walking strong, when I noticed that my path down the road was wandering a bit - couldn't seem to walk a straight line. At first I blamed it on the fog, but then I realized that it was me. And then I felt weak, and my pulse was sort of odd and shaky. I remember wondering what would happen if I passed out in that rural dirt road and got drained by mosquitoes. I made it home - fortunately less than a mile - and immediately pigged out on carbs. Nearly ate my wife's entire box of Frosted Flakes. What scared me was thinking that I'd almost decided to take a bike ride that evening, some 35 miles in rural country, and I'd have brought no food. The bonk would have left me stranded on some lonely, rapidly darkening road, far from home with barely enough strength to walk let alone ride. Now I make sure I always carry a power bar in my fanny-pack, as well as making sure I'm properly fueled before starting the ride.
 

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Haven't you answered your own question?

You go out for a moderate ride, decide to double the distance, don't eat anything and feel crappy at the end? I think if we all put our heads together, we can figure this out....
Don't mean to sound snarky, but this seems pretty obvious.
Power Bars, Gu and similarly high-priced I-believe-in-magic remedies are fine, BTW, but there are plenty of low-cost alternatives. Compare them to the nutritional profile of a pint of low-fat chocolate milk from the convenience store, or a PB&J on whole wheat from home.
 

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waterproof*
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Heck I've been riding since the ealy 80's and I've bonked - hard - twice this year. Stupid, yes, and all because I did what you did - decided to go longer because I was feeling good, but didn't get any food.

You gave your own solution - bring food, or stop and get some.

.
 

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I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey, I know that I'm the only one to blame for my bonk. But when you feel good you do stupid stuff.. haha. I kept watching my heart rate and it never got erratic. I held a decent 165bpm for the last hour.. and even when I turned into a turtle my heartrate stayed the same. So maybe it was more exhaustion. Who knows. My average heart rate for the whole ride was 150ish I think.
 

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Frog Whisperer
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I live on fig bars during the season........energy is almost immediate, taste is great (if you like them), compact, no spoilage, very easily digestible, low fat, CHEAP, easy to eat......and .......drum roll please......you can spend the next few miles getting the seeds out of your teeth.

I think it was Kerry Irons who recommended some time back to salt them, I tried it and they are good!....makes it just about the perfect riding food (if you like them)

AND as Creaky stated.......some of us NEVER learn....LOL.....cause I have been riding for ....well......ever........
 

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ZoSoSwiM said:
Hey, I know that I'm the only one to blame for my bonk. But when you feel good you do stupid stuff.. haha. I kept watching my heart rate and it never got erratic. I held a decent 165bpm for the last hour.. and even when I turned into a turtle my heartrate stayed the same. So maybe it was more exhaustion. Who knows. My average heart rate for the whole ride was 150ish I think.
I suspect that if affects different people in different ways. I didn't have a heart rate monitor on at the time, but it definitely didn't feel right. For me, it was more than just feeling weak. I was slightly dizzy, uncoordinated and shaky. And when I realized that something was wrong, it made me nervous, which exacerbated the problem. By the time I finished the walk home my skin was pale to the point where my wife noticed it when I walked in the door. It made me feel quite mortal and vulnerable, which I guess is a good thing since I'm often guilty of assuming that I can put my body through anything; often without thinking of the consequences. A wake up call, is what it was.
 

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Spicy Dumpling
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I use gels for the convenience but I buy the hammergels in the big bottle and refill my flask. There are also numerous recipes on the net for gel. I just buy normal granola bars and fig newtons for on the ride food. When I'm really on the edge of bonking I like a coke (NOT DIET), I drink half and mix the rest 50/50 with water in my bottle. It's a real pick me up. I also love the little debbie oatmeal sandwiches (AKA hillbilly powerbars) when I'm tired. Paydays are also a great ride food and the salt helps on a hot day.
 

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In dog years, I'm dead.
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I'm doing triathlon brick training with a group on Saturdays. I started out drinking Gatorade, but was bonking near the end of the session. Then I added Power Gel & wasn't bonking, but developed leg cramps near the end. Somebody recommended I drink more water with the gel, but that didn't help. (I was already eating plenty of bananas & balancing my fluids).

Then one guy suggested Accelerade. It has whey protein & a blend of simple & complex carbs. The cramps are gone, I have plenty of energy for finishing, & recovery is faster. Now I'm even using it in smaller amounts during my mid-week work-outs & it helps me avoid burn-out.

I met a guy on a century ride this weekend who swears by maltodextrin. I saw him drinking some milky-water concoction from his bottle & asked him about it. Pretty much the same thing as Accelerade (blend of carbs & protein) without the added colors & flavors - probably a darn site cheaper. I'm not sure where you get it though.
 

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I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've used Accelerafe many times.. I actually just bought a huge container of it from DPSnutrition.com. Great site with pretty cheap prices. Anyhow.. that stuff works well. I tastes a little chalky but oh well.
 

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I've been cycling for more than 35 years and I've never bonked. However, I just about always carry an energy bar and gel with me. Most of the time, I don't even use them, but I keep them on hand just in case. You must have the metabolism of a bird or not eat very much if you are bonking that much.
 

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I ride in circles..
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have lost nearly 40 pounds.. like 35ish or so.. and I've been cross training all year and now getting more miles in on the bike. Pair that with a lower cal diet and I think thats part of my problem. I know I'm the only one to blame though.
 

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Climbs like a sprinter...
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I ALWAYS carry my debit card with me. Last year I ran out of food at the 50 mile mark of a 70 miler and the guy I was riding with was out of food so I MADE us stop at a C-store and bought a little pack of Fig Newtons. I ate the whole ride and the other guy didn't eat hardly anything and you could definitely see the difference. At the end of the 70 miles I was ready to turn it into a century and the other guy was dead!

Eat, drink, be merry.
 
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