If you’ve ever bonked, doing any sport, you’ll know you never want it to happen again. It’s not being cranky or sore or a little tired .. it’s feeling like you’re starving, going to fall over, losing control of your muscles, shaking/shivering, and want to lay down and curl into fetal position. You will be irritable, make bad decisions and possibly hurt yourself because you’ve depleted so much of your glycogen stores that your brain stops getting nutrients. Your body tries to protect your brain, so your body tried to feed that your remaining stores versus your muscles.
Well, after religiously carrying at least 1 nutrition bar or pack of energy chews for the last 4000miles, I thought, well, I only need to eat after 1.5hours of riding. I will just carry water in case I’m thirsty!
I rode to and from work on mountain. It was very close to a 4000ft elevation day. By 5, I was already 1.25 hours into my ride and I had taken quite a strenuous route home.
I felt like I took my time and didn’t ride too hard because I knew I had a lot to go. Riding in the morning already meant I didn’t have “fresh legs”. But the bonk came while I was ready for the last road section home.
Granted my mountain bike is almost 2 times the weight of my road bike, I was chugging along in a granny gear. I’m careful to not tax my knees as so much climbing can cause injury and swelling if done too quickly, too soon.
I was suddenly gripped with an intense hunger. I started feeling sluggish and my muscles were aching.
I haven’t bonked in about 3 years. But since I did before, you know you cannot go very fast and so you just have to relax and take your time. If you have water, drink it, it sort of helps, but not really. What you really must do is bring food wherever you go. Even if you may not use it, maybe someone you’re riding with will.
I literally thought of eating bark or leaves or something while bonking. Or waving down a car and asking if they had some food. I had no cell service, but I kept peddling because I was cold and it was only a few more miles home. I thought and planned out what I could eat at home and kept my head focused on the future..
My treats included granola in almond milk, lentil & parsley salad, a big glass of water with a spindle of sea salt and and immediately after, took a hot shower! Oh- and then I fell asleep. 🙂