The dreaded bonk!!


New Member
I just got in an hour ago from one of the worst rides of my life. Was supposed to be going from bristol to cheddar gorge, but i took a detour through weston super-mare on the way. It was cold and windy, especially on top of the mendips, pedalling into a strong headwind was pretty grim. I took my usual mix of one plain water bottle and one half orange juice and half water, and also took a camelbak with me so hydration definitely wasn't an issue.

It was after i climbed up cheddar gorge, unusually slowly compared to normal, that i could feel my legs weakening. Within another 15k i had literally ground to a halt, legs were absolutely dead, they started to cramp, and no part of me wanted to continue. Thing is, I did this ride a few weeks ago and was fine. I had plenty of food, a large bowl of porridge 2 hours before i started, then my normal mixture of two bananas and some malt loaf stuffed inside my camelbak bag (not in the actual water part!). Had to stop at a shop and buy some lucozade and a couple of mars bars just to summon the energy to make it home, though it was dark by the time I did. The total ride distance was about 115km (so about 70miles i guess)

Can anyone explain to me why this happened this time and not before?? I dont understand how i was fine last time and then this happened, even though I took the same with me and have had a very similar, and healthy, diet for the last few weeks, and my levels of fitness have not declined.


Legendary Member
N Ireland
Frazer said:
It was cold and windy, especially on top of the mendips, pedalling into a strong headwind was pretty grim.

That would use more energy - could that be the reason?


Über Member
Ouch. If I close my eyes I can almost be where you were today. Not nice, sounds like sheer hell. You've earned yourself a hot bath and a cold beer (yes, definitely at the same time).


New Member
I think it was the cold and the wind. I've had two uncomfortable rides in the last 2 days because of the cold and wind. Today it was sunny but still very cold. I asked myself similar questions and all i can think of is the cold and the wind....and I only rode 25 miles each day! So your 70 miles definatly earned you the right to suffer;);)


New Member
I guess I answered my own question really then, it was just the cold and wind, even a couple of minutes without some hard pedalling seemed to make my legs stiff...perhaps the moral of this story is to wear a few more clothes next time!! Gonna tackle this beast again next weekend (weather permitting) with pretty much every item of my cycling wardrobe on me


Ride It Like You Stole It!
South Manchester
For me I must be warm, especially the legs - if my thighs get cold then it's game over. Make sure you are warm enough, but able to unzip if you get too hot !


Über Member
I reckon it's all the weight of that liquid you were carrying. I don't see why anyone needs a camelback in winter in Britain, and I don't understand the logic of carrying anything heavy on your back. Put it on the bike.


New Member
Arghh i hate the bonk! Bonked badly on sat, 65 miles in to a 70 miler. I'd eaten porridge and a banana as well as a hot choccy and brownie at the 50 mile mark so thought I'd be ok. Got cold at the cafe stop though and cold again when my training partner had a mechanical emergency (his left crank fell off!!). Sure that didn't help, but it does seem like some days you can go further on less fuel, never really understood why that is.


I'm sure excessive headwind can cause bonk. I think i bonked this morning. Basically my legs felt like they do when you're riding up a big hill, but all the time even when i was on the flat. I could barely go 10mph, it was a nightmare. Plus it was raining. Absolutely miserable ride, took about 2hrs 15 what normally takes me 1hr 40.

Redeemed myself this evening though, ate quite a lot of food at work - large spud, beans and cornish pasty for lunch, two free mince pies that were left over for xmas, and a cooplands cheese and bacon sub about an hour before i set off back. yum.
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