Bonked in Vonda

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?

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  • Loraura

    I once bonked while test riding a bike. Yup, you read that right. I was almost ready to pull the trigger on a bike, but had suffered from persistent hand numbness in the past due to fit, so I requested a long ride (an hour). The shop gladly granted me that request. I zoomed over after work to take my test ride. It was last July. It was over 100 degrees. The bike felt great and I pushed it, until, *zap* I got slower and slower until I was hardly moving. I felt like absolute crud. No power at all. I’d only taken one bottle of water, and it was almost empty, and hot.

    My husband ended up having to sprint back to the shop, get our car, and come retrieve me from the test ride!

    I bought the bike the next day.

    • Darryl

      Awesome….thanks so much for sharing this story, Loraura. My wife and I totally cracked up as I read it out loud to her.

      I really appreciate you leaving this behind for us all to read.


  • CycleLou

    I was doing sets of two-minute all out intervals – three sets of three with a two minute rest between intervals, five minutes between sets. It was August, so it was and humid here in NC. I didn’t take any food since the total workout was only going to take a little more than an hour. I did take two bottles of Gatorade. All went well until the last interval of the last set when I ran out of energy as if I had been unplugged. It took me almost an hour to make the 12-mile trip to my car. The weirdest thing was that I still had one bottle of Gatorade. I kept staring at it and thinking I’d feel better if I drank it but I didn’t. I suppose I didn’t have enough blood sugar left to make rational decisions.

    • Darryl

      Yeah, that’s funny you never went for the bottle. Luckily this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. Thanks for dropping by and leaving your story.

  • fbhidy

    My guess (since you didn’t really spell out your nutrition pre-ride and during ride) is that your calorie and electrolyte intake were insufficient for the effort and weather conditions. What did you eat and drink in the hours before and also during the ride? That would be the best place to look for an answer.

    • Darryl

      Thanks for your comment. It might sound boring, but I eat pretty much exactly the same thing each and every day. The only difference was what I ate two nights prior to the ride (ice cream binge and dinner out with my Family). That likely could have been what did it.

      My pre-ride nutrition and hydration should have been right on track.

  • Torsten

    I’ve only bonked a handful of times. It’s usually either because I skipped breakfast or not drink enough water *BEFORE* my ride. I usually do a pretty good job of keeping myself hydrated during the ride, but if I’m dehydrated going into the ride, I’m fighting a deficit for the entire ride. Lack of food has actually caused me to almost pass out at the top of some late, steep climbs. Not a good feeling to be sure.

    As Mari-Jo says, if you go out too quickly, you pay for it dearly in the end. It’s best to slowly elevate your heart rate initially.

  • Janice in GA

    Just the other day I was riding to the mall (about 18 miles 1 way) via a hilly route. About 3 miles from my destination, I just had to stop. I felt like I couldn’t turn the pedals another single time. It was in the high 80′s (F) here, so it wasn’t as hot as it’s been sometimes.

    I just found a shady spot beside the road and sat for about 15 minutes and drank most of a bottle of Gatorade. After that, I felt a little more human and got up and got to the shops I wanted to visit. Being inside the A/C helped a lot.

    I think in my case it was a combination of over-heating a little and being slightly under-nourished. I wasn’t hungry, but I also hadn’t been drinking quite enough liquids. And the ride was very hilly, and hills always take a lot out of me.

    I made it home just fine though. I did get something to eat while I was stopped. But it was alarming to feel like I just couldn’t go another step. And it would have been embarrassing to call and ask someone to come rescue me.

  • Tim

    The only times I’ve truly “bonked” was due to nutrition. Either pre-ride meal was insufficient or I didn’t get enough fuel on the ride. The “bonks” have never been really serious and I’ve been able to ride through them. Although it was at a much reduce pace and not much fun.

    Never had a dehydration issue during a ride. It always seems to hit post-ride. Which means if I want to ride longer distances, I’ll have to change up my drinking habits.

  • http://marijolamarche.wordpress mari-jo Lamarche

    I remember bonking in Asheville, NC. I was having a great ride, enjoying sprint signs just a little too much…
    We stopped for a coffee and a cookie in Marshall and on our way back, I was totally out of gaz,running on an empty tank, paying for those much too early sprints.
    I kept asking Pat:”How many more miles?” And he kept answering “only 5 miles Mari-jo”.
    Couldn’t wait to get home!