Bonked in Vonda


Yesterday morning, I set out for a nice 80km ride to a little town called Vonda.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and even the wind wasn’t as breezy as it has been lately.  I always enjoy the last 10kms into Vonda because it’s an old country road with great views.  I’ve never ridden the country roads of France, but for some reason I seem to think that they would look like this.  I don’t bring along a camera or video when riding, but I was able to find this Youtube video of the road I’m talking about….here is the road to Vonda.

But as I reached Vonda, the turnaround point yesterday…..I had felt like I lost all my juice.  I think in my whole riding life, I have only felt this way a couple times before and there was always an explanation for it.  But this time, I couldn’t immediately think of what could have caused this…In my head I started going through what it may be and why this was happening.  I was continuing on with my ride, but quite shocked that I was experiencing what riders call a “Bonk”. For any of you who aren’t familiar with the term, here is how Wikipedia describes Bonking.

As I continued along the 40kms back home, I could see my average speed slowly dropping and I started to envision a scene from the Tour de France where something like this has happened and we watch the rider as they loose valuable time to their competitors.  The other thing that started going through my mind was “I guess I know what I’ll be blogging about tomorrow“.

So as I suffered my way back home, I started writing today’s post in my head….again, one of those times I could use a voice recorder.  I thought about all the possible things that could have made me feel this way and here is what I came up with.

  • Nutrition: Since typically a bonk occurs from a lack of glycogen in the liver and muscles, I first started replaying my food intake in my mind.  I’m quite regimented in my diet so it would be easy for me to spot something wonky.  I have been about as consistent as ever with my diet over the past few weeks…but there was the little ice cream binge I had a couple nights ago.  However, ice cream binges are not all that un-typical for me so I really didn’t feel this was it.  Otherwise, I hadn’t done anything different yesterday before the ride or over the past few days.  Since I didn’t feel it was from nutrition, I started thinking about other things that could have made me drain like this.
  • Sleep: I don’t get a lot of sleep, but this is nothing out of the ordinary.  I did, however, have one of the best sleeps in a long time the night prior to this ride, so I totally ruled this one out.
  • Heat: Excessive heat can totally dehydrate the body and cause it to feel drained.  It was a beautiful day yesterday, but I went riding quite early and it definitely wasn’t overly hot. Check that one off the list.
  • Water: Just like above, not taking in enough water could cause dehydration.  I drank plenty of water prior to my ride and brought along two bottles during my ride, so again, I didn’t feel this was it.
  • Depression/Anxiety: Having a million things on my mind seems to be an ongoing occurrence these past few weeks, so feeling a bit anxious has been common territory for me.  However, as soon as I get out on the bike all of this fades away and I’m about as calm and cool as I’ll ever be.  Subconsciously, this could be affecting my body, but I didn’t feel like this on any other rides recently so I didn’t feel this was it either.
  • Tired: I started to think how over the past couple weeks I have felt stronger on the bike than ever before.  Because of this, I have been pushing my body more than usual and further trying to improve myself.  Maybe it was all this extra pushing that just finally made my body need a break.

Over those 40kms I was able to still scrape together a decent ride, but man, I don’t want to feel that way again for a long time.   As I went over all these possible factors, I never did seem to pinpoint what could have caused it.  I guess it’s just one of those things and it happens to even the best of them.

From what I remember, many times when a pro rider has had a stage where they bonk….they come back stronger than ever the next day.  That’s what’s going through my mind right now as I anticipate the ride I’ll be going on very shortly.

Have you ever bonked?  What do you think was the cause?

Enjoy Your Ride

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