Bonking It Out

So, you’ve probably heard the term “hitting the wall.” Cyclists seem to mostly call it “bonking.” I’ve always figured it meant something like “I’m super-tired and I feel like I can’t go any further but I’m gonna push through and do it anyway.”

It’s not always surmountable, though. Saturday I bonked hard enough that I couldn’t keep going. I was near the end of a 30-mile ride, but it had taken a little longer than I expected (had to stop for a repair and also got a little lost), and I hadn’t brought enough snacks. I should have just stopped to get something (I had opportunities), but I wanted to push for home and get it done, dammit! I was a little worried about one steep climb getting there, but hey, I’d done it before!

But when I stopped at a park about two miles before home (and a little bit before the overpass climb) for a water break, I suddenly felt nauseated and then light-headed. I called home for a ride and lay down on the grass, and when my husband came to get me I honestly couldn’t do much of anything to help load my bike into the van.

I’m sure it didn’t help that it was already 90 degrees and climbing by that point, either. I’d drunk plenty of water, but still.

I’m not discouraged, though. I’m certain I can do this if I just manage my food intake better. And it was a beautiful ride. I rode four different multi-use (bike/pedestrian/etc.) paths in the Portland area: the I-84 path, the Gresham-Fairview Trail, the Springwater Trail all the way from Gresham and through Sellwood, and the East Bank Esplanade along the Willamette River. After that, I had to climb through the neighborhoods back to East Portland, which was the hardest part (and where I bonked out).

Now to research energy bars! Or something.