Sunday, 15 April 2012

Bonk!

cycling is full of rights of passage, booting a tyre with a cliff bar wrapper, riding 100 miles, dropping the guy who taught you how to clip in, shaving your legs, road rash, eating a gel, refusing to eat a gel because you've eaten nothing BUT gel for the last 6 hours, riding in the rain and still enjoying it, winning a race, getting dropped from a race. You get the picture, as you move through the ranks you pass these points, you learn from them and as a rule you progress.

it's beena while since my last proper bonk. i don't mean a hypo i mean an old fashioned non diabetic BONK. total glycogen drain, sleepy, famished, emotional etc. I decided to go and ride 100 miles before a local group ride. it was all going swimmingly with a stop at school on the way for a one hour lecture. i felt good al day, obviously so good that i forgot to eat. somehow i was able to sit on my bike for 5 hours and consume a net total of half a peanut butter sandwich and a packet of pretzels.

this had totally evaded my attention, i had been experimenting with a low insulin low carb approach as i had a few long races coming up . blood sugar was good and i felt fine. cue the group ride starting and it was really windy, as gaps started to open i felt ok, but my cadence wasnt what it should've been. and then, all of a sudden the wheels came off. i begged a gel off my friend lucas but it wasn't really going to cut it. the world got smaller and a gap went that i couldn't close. next thing i knew i was out the back as the ride splintered and i was feeling awfully emotional. on the ride home i was so bonked i nearly cried, despite eating everything in my pockets. on getting back i ate all the bread in the house, drank a beer and fell asleep without showering. stay classy eh?

bonking happens to everyone, at some point in our cycling lives we all decide to measure our glycogen penises and come up short. Someone once told me that certain guys deliberatley induce a bonk to "empty out" the stores and fill up again even stronger. This sounds like a nice idea but i really can't see it working. after a full on hunger knock you do so much damage to your muscles that you're like a fawn for days and your legs feel like someone has extracted the quads with a melon baller. You get back to your house and stand blankly in front of the cupboard, eating like a starved anorexic for half an hour before you even notice the bloated stomach and disgusting appearance of a man with half a pint of ice cream in his hand, a serving spoon inhis other handwearing nothing but his helmet and bibshorts. at this point you most likely sneak off to shower and sleep.

one notable bonk saw me come home and decide to take a lie down with a pint of chocolate milk, a bowl and a packet of peanut butter puffs. i was woken up 3 hours later by my roomate, covered in milk and still in my shorts i asked him why he was in my room, he replied "it's gone badly for you, you never even got there" he was right, and i was so very wrong. We all have our bonk stories, we all have our bonk moments. i just wanted to share one, to prove that however hard it ry to go fast and look cool. i'm still that guy eating Haagen daas in his bibshorts.

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