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  1. #1
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    Keep eating on long rides!

    Today I rode about 70 miles with a buddy of mine and was doing fine. We ride hard. About 30 miles to go I looked at the clock and saw that it was about time to refuel. I had a gel and a fig bar in my pocket, but I thought, "Naaa, I've had enough. I can make it back." I was okay about another half hour and then I just started feeling tired. Like...really tired. I wanted to lay down on the side of the road and sleep. My speed plummeted. Finally, I realized I was outta juice and so I ate the fig bar. Fast forward 20 minutes and I felt a LOT better. Just goes to show you how important fuel is, especially for hard riding! Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Had my first real bonk on the local mountain bike trails last year. It sucked bad. Thought I was going to have to find a nice log to curl up next to and spend the night with. Took me by surprise because this was an after work ride and I had a good lunch that day.

    I haven't had the misfortune of bonking while on the road yet and I hope I don't either...

  3. #3
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    I experienced this today too, been experimenting with different gels, bars etc and have found even just a banana works great.

  4. #4
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    Fast energy

    Quote Originally Posted by tom.w View Post
    I experienced this today too, been experimenting with different gels, bars etc and have found even just a banana works great.
    If you want a fast kick when you're starting to see spots, a 3 Musketeers candy bar is hard to beat. those babies are 250 calories and 70% simple sugar. Ba-boom! A bottle of Coke is another quick pick-me-up with straight sugar plus caffein. The candy bar works even if you don't want/need liquids.

  5. #5
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    First long ride of the year if you call 40 miles long. I crapped out at 31. Stopped and ate a small box of raisins and some water. It helped quite a bit and got me home.

    Any ideas on what kind of low sugar high energy bars to pack? A 3 musketeers sounds like a great idea but it would have been all melted today.

  6. #6
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    yup I learned that the hard way. I went on a 70ish mile solo ride thinking because I'm solo it would be a controlled effort and I didn't have to worry about food. Ordinarily no problem but there was a lot of wind so I had to work pretty hard just to keep a reasonable pace and wasn't smart enough to realize that meant I needed more calories then I usually did on that ride without wind.
    Anyway well into the ride all of sudden I realized I had no idea where I was (despite having been on this road 100's of times), where I had been, what day it was, ect. I just knew I was pedaling my bike on some road. Oddly enough my legs felt pretty good and I was cruising along fine from the neck down. That sucked, big time. I eventually got to a store and kind of got my head together and eat everything I could get my hands on and was okay after that.
    So yeah, I still don't eat alot but I'm sure to eat (or drink) enough calories.

  7. #7
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    Very true! I've dialed in my food and fluid requirements this past year. It is IMPORTANT to eat and drink even when you are not hungry or thirsty. Just do it. I do a gel and H2O about 10 minutes before I get to a climb. On a 50 or 60 miler, I eat a coupla bars (at least 150 cal per), a gel or two, Cytomax in one bottle and water in the other. If you don't eat or drink enough but you know you'll 'make it home' anyhow, you won't feel that good after. If I eat and drink adequately, I feel pumped and strong even at the end. Much nicer feeling.
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  8. #8
    ktc
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    Last week I rode just over 60 miles with a Cliff Bar in my pouch (under the seat where I couldn't get to it). I knew it was there for when the ride was over, but after 50 miles I was dreaming of eating that thing and was getting tired. This week I kept it in my pocket and munched some each hour. Rode 80 miles at a faster pace than the 60 and felt better throughout. Yes, you need fuel while you ride, especially when on the bike for over 4 hours.

  9. #9
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    I try to eat a bannana before my ride,or as an after lunch snack if im close to getting off work. I also Pack a few Cliff bars in my Camel bak mule, I use to put gatorade in my Hydration bladder but if you forget about it anddont dump it out after a few days and then go a ride and take a big drink of sour gatorade............ugghhhhh.
    But Cliff bars in My bak pak are a Must just in case you run out of gas while out
    Im just tryin to be the man my dog thinks I am

  10. #10
    Anphaque II
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    Quote Originally Posted by haendelbars View Post
    Today I rode about 70 miles with a buddy of mine and was doing fine. We ride hard. About 30 miles to go I looked at the clock and saw that it was about time to refuel. I had a gel and a fig bar in my pocket, but I thought, "Naaa, I've had enough. I can make it back." I was okay about another half hour and then I just started feeling tired. Like...really tired. I wanted to lay down on the side of the road and sleep. My speed plummeted. Finally, I realized I was outta juice and so I ate the fig bar. Fast forward 20 minutes and I felt a LOT better. Just goes to show you how important fuel is, especially for hard riding! Cheers!
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro S View Post
    Had my first real bonk on the local mountain bike trails last year. It sucked bad. Thought I was going to have to find a nice log to curl up next to and spend the night with. Took me by surprise because this was an after work ride and I had a good lunch that day.

    I haven't had the misfortune of bonking while on the road yet and I hope I don't either...

    Very interesting.


    Sounds like the 'Ambien' effect !
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  11. #11
    PhotonFreak
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    I had this happen a couple weekends ago, longest I normally ride at once is 42 miles consisting of 13 mile out, twice around a 8mile loop, and 13miles back.

    This time though I was feeling unusually good so decided to stay out for two more loops. On the last lap, I went from averaging over 20 to something absurd like 12mph. I got so weak I could barely keep myself up on the bike and maintain a straight line.

    I stepped off the road and rested for about 10minutes until I felt I could at least ride safely, then dragged my butt at ~10mph to the nearest fast-food place...
    Last edited by PhotonFreak; 04-07-2012 at 10:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    Cup of coffee before a ride does the body good!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotonFreak View Post
    I had this happen a couple weekends ago, longest I normally ride at once is 42 miles consisting of 13 mile out, twice around a 8mile loop, and 13miles back.

    This time though I was feeling unusually good so decided to stay out for two more loops. On the last lap, I went from averaging well over 20 to something absurd like 12mph. I got so weak I could barely keep myself up on the bike and maintain a straight line.

    I stepped off the road and rested for about 10minutes until I felt I could at least ride safely, then dragged my butt at ~10mph to the nearest fast-food place...

    Wow; Yet another go example of bonking !


    So far my rides haven't been more than 2.5 hours. But this thread has great examples of what a bonk feels like, etc!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrigowski View Post
    Cup of coffee before a ride does the body good!
    Agreed, but in what way does it add fuel for the ride?

  15. #15
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    I'm liquid fueled. I mix several tablespoons of honey and a dash of lite salt in with several liters of herbal tea- good to go for hours.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defy3Guy View Post
    Any ideas on what kind of low sugar high energy bars to pack? A 3 musketeers sounds like a great idea but it would have been all melted today.
    For rides 40 miles and under, I usually don't eat anything, but will often bring something for that "just in case". Either one clif bar or Larabar and/or Clif shot blocks. For longer rides, I'll bring a combination of things; a bar or two, fig newtons, banana, peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into quarters and Clif shot blocks. I'm thinking about adding trail mix (peanuts, M&M's, raisins), but a little concerned about the M&M's candy shell melting.

    As for candy bars covered in chocolate......tired it once and never again. Stored in a rear jersey pocket, the chocolate melts into a gooey mess.

    Has anyone ever taken a hard boiled egg?

    On long rides, I think an egg would taste good and hopefully add just the right amount of protein.

  17. #17
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    I think everybody should bonk at least once, just so they know what it's like and why you really want to avoid it. Nothing like experience as a good teacher.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    If you want a fast kick when you're starting to see spots, a 3 Musketeers candy bar is hard to beat. those babies are 250 calories and 70% simple sugar. Ba-boom! A bottle of Coke is another quick pick-me-up with straight sugar plus caffein. The candy bar works even if you don't want/need liquids.
    Nothing like putting poison in your system for a fast kick. Why not just carry a bag of sugar.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinrjensen View Post
    I think everybody should bonk at least once, just so they know what it's like and why you really want to avoid it. Nothing like experience as a good teacher.
    Agreed
    Im just tryin to be the man my dog thinks I am

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by walter2007 View Post
    Nothing like putting poison in your system for a fast kick. Why not just carry a bag of sugar.
    probably already eaten at this point.
    Blows your hair back.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtrigowski View Post
    Cup of coffee before a ride does the body good!
    Doppio Espresso...less dehydrating.

  22. #22
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    Well I also bonked on my ride yesterday. I was just gonna do a nice lil 35 miler that I am usually fine with no food, only water and gatorade. I ate a big lunch as usual and took off, its an out and back with a small loop at the end. It was pure headwind the way out but I just hit the drops and pounded it out knowing I would get a nice tail wind home. I went a little hard expecting the easier ride home, after about 20 miles I was coming to my turn for a tail wind home, it was bliss for about 3 miles, cruising along easily in the big ring when the Gods of wind decided the switch the wind direction and make it blow even harder! The last 4 miles is all up hill with a few pitches over 10%...I knew I was about to bonk so I hit a gas station and ate some Reece's peanut butter cups and had an apple juice...it got me up the hill but next time I'll take a little something with me just incase.
    Just another 35 year old with 55 year old knee's.

    ...at least I look fast.

  23. #23
    I play for keeps
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    Quote Originally Posted by cda 455 View Post
    Wow; Yet another go example of bonking !


    So far my rides haven't been more than 2.5 hours. But this thread has great examples of what a bonk feels like, etc!
    When I'm limping home i'll pop into a coffee shop for a doppio espresso and maybe something with sugar before grinding the rest of the way

  24. #24
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    Poison

    Quote Originally Posted by walter2007 View Post
    Nothing like putting poison in your system for a fast kick. Why not just carry a bag of sugar.
    I didn't suggest this for a regular diet, but a quick way to fight off the bonk. A bag of sugar indeed would work well for the same purpose, though it would be a lot less palatable. If you're eating properly on the bike there should be no need for this, but sometimes you underestimate the food you need and if you get in trouble and want a quick fix, this will do it. You may have noticed riders in the Tour de France chugging small cans of Coke near the end of many stages. It's not poison.

    For those worried about candy bars melting in their pockets I was not suggesting carrying the candy bar but buying one at a convenience store. Most candy bars are a lot higher in fat than the 3 Musketeers bar, so that is why it is a good choice when you're bonking: mostly sugar but enough fat to smooth out the blood sugar spike a little.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    I didn't suggest this for a regular diet, but a quick way to fight off the bonk. A bag of sugar indeed would work well for the same purpose, though it would be a lot less palatable. If you're eating properly on the bike there should be no need for this, but sometimes you underestimate the food you need and if you get in trouble and want a quick fix, this will do it. You may have noticed riders in the Tour de France chugging small cans of Coke near the end of many stages. It's not poison.

    For those worried about candy bars melting in their pockets I was not suggesting carrying the candy bar but buying one at a convenience store. Most candy bars are a lot higher in fat than the 3 Musketeers bar, so that is why it is a good choice when you're bonking: mostly sugar but enough fat to smooth out the blood sugar spike a little.

    If a person is diabetic and suffering from hypoglycemia then the candy and coke might be a good idea. Although a person in this condition would be better served by eating an apple or orange or fruit juice. As far as the coke not being poison, Iíve seen it remove rust from an old hand saw. There are many better options available other than coke.

    I prefer carrying nuts, dried fruit or a bar that has complex carbs and whole grains vs. high fructose corn syrups. There are better choices at convenience stores rather than coke and candy, imho.

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