Worst Bonking Thread

Inspired by the SJ thread discussion on Bonking (of the Hunger Flat variety - not the other kind…).

For me it was a Christmas Day ride up Mt Wellington in Tassie.
3/4 of the way up the mountain I was weak, shaking and feeling poorly. I had to stop, breathe and eat the last of the food I had then know I had still a lot more climbing to go and then a long twisting ride home through rain & fog. I’d never felt that poorly on a bike.

What’s your story?

Oh man I have had some corkers. Some memorable ones from long Portsea returns when i was younger stick in my mind.

But by far the worst must be the Baw Baw classic in 2012. I trained super hard for that race. Too hard. By the time race day came, I was totally cooked. I knew I was in trouble when i hit threshold in the neutral part of the race. For those of you who don’t know, the Baw Baw classic in 106ish km, over about 3700 meters of climbing.

I held on for the first 40ish ks before i got dropped. Already in a world of pain, I missed my bottle at the feed station. We were expecting cold weather (the year before had seen snow) but it was about 24 degrees. I was getting increasingly dehydrated, and had run out of food that I could stomach. By the time I got to the foot of the climb i was absolute toast. I slowly hobbled up. There was spew all over the road (which I later found out was Jez’s). One bloke had stopped half way through the climb and appeared to be talking to a tree. By this time I was so low on salt my jaw cramped from gritting my teeth.

Got to the top totally delirious, 35 mins down on the winner. Couldn’t swing my leg over my bike. Took a piss. Was brown. Took me three weeks to recover lol, and my racing career never really recovered.

Riding from Launceston to Ironhouse Point a couple of years back. Two days of ~200km with some serious climbing on the first half of day one. I was going alright until the climb out of Derby which was the beginning of my undoing – started to feel a bit weak and light headed, but knew there wasn’t that far to go until lunch, so ploughed on. Unfortunately the lunch venue was only reached by a ball busting climb up the Blue Tiers, so I dropped back and just tried to keep the pedals turning. About ¾ of the way up I started to feel really average and my stomach decided to empty its contents via my mouth before I even had a chance to pull over. Sat there for five minutes finishing the job then continued climbing – and I wasn’t the last up! From there it was only a short crawl to the pub where a burger and beer set me right. I did manage the rest of the ride without incident, but I did take it a bit slower than I usually would.

But that’s not the worst I’ve felt on a bike.

The second Brewery Ride was to Holgate Brewery at Woodend. I was new to this long riding stuff and probably should have taken the almost 40 degree day as a warning. Our original five starters got whittled down to two pretty quickly, but I felt okay, so off we go. User S-Club was along for the ride and he is a strong rider. Again, showing my naivety, I tried to hold his wheel for the dead flat traverse from Plumpton to Sunbury…which was a big mistake. I think a few K’s out of Sunbury I just bonked big time. I was doing my very best just to keep the bike upright. I bought a drink at a Sunbury café and just sat there wondering what the fuck I was doing. The train was ages away, Melbourne was ~30k’s back and Woodend was about the same the other way. All I wanted to do was crawl into bed. After a while I made the completely irrational decision to ride back to Melbourne. This time I took my precious time. Every tiny incline hurt like hell. When I got home I went straight to bed and wondered if I was going to die. After that ride I’ve never worried if I get dropped, it’s far better getting to your destination feeling good.

Mine was also Baw Baw.
It was Australia day last year, and pretty hot.
Thinking I could fill my bottles at Tanjil Bren, I drank a fair bit of what I had.
The only water there, was met with a sign of DO NOT DRINK.
Thinking I’d be ok, we proceeded.
Being the heaviest guy by at least 20kg, I was soon dropped up the climb. I was then left alone to my own thoughts.
Sweat was pouring down my face in a white salty stream, and I seriously got worried for my health at times.
Had no water for the last 3kms, which on Baw Baw is like 100km on the flat!
I knew that day I would never ride that climb again.

My worst was a SS MTB ride up the Oaks trails (so going up the Blue Mtns from Glen Brook to Woodford) then cutting down the St helena’s trail which has a very steep hike-a-bike out of a rocky gully. It was very hot, and I ran out of water. I got dizzy and couldn’t walk in a straight line by the time got to the end of the hike.

It was horrible.

I don’t know if it’s the worst I’ve ever bonked, but it was the first and most memorable for me. Pretty sure it was a Cranky Sundays ride to Frankston, and maybe the longest ride I had attempted. Coming up Collins Street with Chaz on our way to beers in Northcote, and man I nearly fell of my bike riding up Collins St. I had no idea what was going on but I felt terrible. Stumbled in to a 7-11, got a coke and a Mars bar ad sat in the street hating life for about 30 mins. Then I slowly but surely made it back to the safety of Northcote.

Benzy needs to get back on FOA and contribute to this thread…….

wow, pretty sure I did the exact same thing on collins st during Fix Up Look Sharp 2. 7-11 on king st?

My first ever race. Northern Combine D Grade, three laps of Pastoria. Going in, I thought D Grade were only doing 2 laps, so I figured I didn’t need any food. Stayed with the leaders on the first lap. As we crested the main climb at the end of the second lap I was just off the back of the lead bunch, which was basically stevezero, Fonz, Jez and HMC. I was solo on the descent, pushing hard to get back on when I got the first cramp of my life. That was weird. Not long after, still riding solo, there was a photographer at the top of a small rise, so I got out of the saddle and hammered up there to at least look the part.

As I went over the top I died. My heart rate plunged. I had zero energy and could barely turn the pedals. People starting catching and passing me, including wjwat1. A small bunch came past, I jumped on the back and lasted a couple hundred metres before falling off. Finally, a dude came past and offered me an energy bar. Don’t think I would have made it home without that.

There’s a race report on the old TDR blog here

Lab testing at ACU last year where I had to take nicotinic acid to stop fat metabolism so I’d be would relying purely on stored glycogen.
I then had to attempt to ride at a certain percentage of my v02, I forget what the % was but in watts in was 310w for 120 minutes.
No food and only water meant that at about 90minutes I experienced the worst hunger flat I’ve ever felt in my life.
I felt like I was going to fall off the bike, my vision got super blurry and I was convinced I was going deaf or dying as I couldn’t really hear what the guys in the lab were saying to me.
Felt some sort of pressure to complete the 120 minutes though so pushed through the last 30min to average a slightly higher than asked for average power. Collapsed off the bike and had a rest on the floor for about an hour while people took blood samples.
Would do again.

Nah top of collins from memory.

ef me

Mine has already been detailed in the SJ thread, but another good one.

Riding in the bunya mountains late last year with hayes, shatteredhell and two other mates. We rented a house for a long weekend to ride, drink beers and bbq various meats and generally have a good time. First morning went all guns blazing into a long descent. Shatteredhell and I went down about 15 minutes into the ride.

Rode another 70 odd k’s and then in blazing hot sun had to climb back up the same hill we’d crashed on. Had one muesli bar left, and couldn’t pull up on the bars to climb up this monster hill that has a few pinches over 20%. Stopped at a tap/toilet on the side of the road and tried to find a reason not to lay on the ground and die.

I remember getting home, stripped down to bibs on the balcony and sinking the most refreshing beer I’ve ever had in my life. Then we assessed how bad the damage was, I had a monster bruise on my hip and couldn’t lift my left arm above my head (turns out I’d cracked and subluxed some ribs). All of this a week before a 5 weeks trip to the US that was meant to include snowboarding and a marriage proposal.

I don’t think I ever bonked on a bike. I did bonk a couple years back on a snowshoeing-snowboarding expedition with my brother, where we climbed a peak in the Pyrenees and snowboarded down. The hangover from the night before and the light breakfast we had was probably for a lot in it. We started early-ish on a beautiful but windy day, with lots of deep powder. After 3 hours of hard going hiking I started feeling really tired, then dizzy, then I started seeing black on the sides of my vision. An omelette sandwich sorted me out but I took it easy on the descent while my little bro shredded down.

On the bike, I always take lots of food, it helps my morale somewhat. On a race my jersey pockets are full of dates, bananas, muesli bars or homemade cake/cookies if they’re in the kitchen. Club mates tease me about it but some of them have been pretty happy with hand me downs from me. On long rides I take one of my best recent purchases, this saddle bag that I fill with food, including a thermos of coffee. Also, fuck gels and other shitty muesli bars. I believe in rewarding myself with nice treats, and gels are not on my list. Give me dates, nuts, snakes, jam sandwiches and pies all day. Cold roo pie on the bike, yum.

My biggest problem is I wait until it’s too late before I eat, then it’s liking trying to fill a bucket with holes in the sides.

not bonking as such, but my first 3-digit ride was a 210km Sorrento return with trigger/triggers bro/Chaz/LAM/chaz’s mate Hugh, and I made sure I ate religiously throughout the day as I was genuinely worried that I’d struggle pretty badly. ended up being fine despite LAM & I being well & truly dropped from mordy back to Melbourne.

anyway, I got home, was absolutely fucked, and I decided a longneck in the shower was a great idea. so I sat on the floor of the shower & drank the beer in about 20 minutes (rollys top tip - take the bottle cap in too so you don’t get water in it). I remember veeeeery little about what happened next but I have vague memories of bumping into some ppl I hardly knew at the local Safeway & basically talking deliriously at them for way too long.

guess I was probably just a bit shitfaced off very little beer.

I’m an easy bonk eh. I bonked on the WNR just gone, just past the tennis courts. Had to stop for snakes and watched the red lights disappear into the distance. I’m not too sure what the trouble is, but I think there are a couple of factors. One is that I struggle to store energy. Sometimes I can eat a fair bit, but mostly I can’t fit that much in in one go. I also sometimes have post-prandial hypoglycaemia, where my blood sugar drastically drops not long after eating. Something to do with a bit too much insulin squirting out on occasion. I think this is what happened on the WNR; I usually put a fair bit of effort into eating plenty on Wednesdays.

Worst bonk was out on a ride with MikeD from Wallan to Woodend; maiden ride on the Look. I remember feeling shaky turning off the main road to head around Macedon so I ate a snake or two, but then I just lost it. I had to walk a fair bit through Macedon town, and it was shaky and weird as, even though the terrain was pretty flat. It was winding though, and I was worried I’d get myself hit by a car. I came good pretty quickly after lunch in Macedon though.

When I first moved to Brisbane I had to send the bat-signal out a few times to the support car because of the hills. 30km in Brisbane is about 50 Sydney km’s and I wasn’t used to the humidity either. I would regularly blow up in spectacular fashion. Loki had to tow my mangey ass more than a few times.

The worst time was probably my first club bunch ride in Sydney, it was to waterfall and back. About 92kms round trip from my house. Up until that point my rides had consisted of FOA pub rides and max 15-lap scratches at the track.

I stupidly contested (and won) the sprint at the 55km mark but at about 85km it was like I threw a rod through my engine block and the sump plug came out and left a trail of oil and rings everywhere.
My eyes glazed over and I couldn’t talk and I was cold and shaking.

It was 8:30am and I ended up at Hungry Jacks which was visual distance from my house, eating a large bacon deluxe meal in the company of a 120kg lady who had been out clubbing.

You could always try drinking sugary drinks (coke) as it’s all easily absorbed carbs due to having a high glycemic load. Might not do wonders for the whole insulin going crazy thing though…

Sounds like a pretty standard Sunday mornings in my book

Amy’s Gran Fondo, 2012. Underprepared, overfat and slept very poorly the night before. The last 7k up to Benwerrin, bonked hard on the first pinch with cold and drizzle setting in…easily the longest hour of my biking life.
That said, I passed a lot of people walking.