So today I headed to South Charlotte for the Morrison Metric 85 mile ride. I’ve done this ride for the past 2 years and love it! I spent a lot of time on this course and on these roads training for IM Louisville and Arizona so it’s fun to know the roads and where you are for much of the ride, which is rare.
I met up with Jim, Greg, Keith and Starkey and we set out with the lead group and were rolling relatively easy for the first 7-8 miles. I could tell we were all getting anxious to ride a bit faster. Not long after, the Bicycles East guys came blazing by on our left so Jim, Keith and I latched on.
We were flying! I love nothing more than sitting in on a ride a beautiful day going super fast! I felt great through the 2 hour mark when it was time to break off for the 85 course where 99% of the group hung a right for the 65 mile route. I was staying on top of my hydration and fueling and we were averaging about 23 mph through the 45 mile mark. Fun!!
It was quite a spirit breaker after we turned off for the 85 ride and were left with only 4 of us to share the work. The fun was over though. We rode with the 4 of us for about the next 8 miles. The 4th guy riding with us ended up falling off leaving just Jim, Keith and I. 3 to share the work…crap.
About 65 miles into this ride, the climbs started. Not huge long climbs, just enough to hurt. At this point, I was not feeling so good. I preach to all my athletes, calories, calories, calories…and here I was, their coach, and I was behind on my calories!? Idiot.
So Jim was awesome enough to offer me half his Bonk Breaker, I took a gel and some Gatorade and slow pedaled for a few minutes. I eventually started to feel better, but never awesome. Let me tell ya, bonking is NOT fun. I think I did okay taking calories on the ride, but the night before I didn’t have enough dinner which ended up biting me in the ass.
So, I think it’s appropriate to list some quick fixes in the event you start to bonk:
1. Slow down – ease up for a minute to assess the situation.
2. Immediately start drinking. Don’t chug, but get some fluids in ASAP. Preferably fluids that also contain calories.
3. Eat – if you have a gel, take it right away. Depending on various circumstances (how long you have left, what fuel you have available for the remainder of the workout, if there are rest stops, etc), perhaps take another gel.
4. Salt / Electrolyte tablets – if you have these, take one or two, particularly if you’re starting to cramp. An S-Cap would have saved me tremendously today but I took one before I left the house and thought I’d be ok.
5. Solids – Depending on what you’re already taken, a Honey Stinger Waffle, a few crackers, a cookie, a Bonk Breaker can all raise your sugar levels. If you’ve taken 2 gels, I don’t think I’d also recommend a solid unless you’re bonking hard and have a good bit of distance left in your ride or run.
6. Re-assess in 15-25 minutes and see how you feel. If you don’t feel better, I am not sure I can help you 🙂
As a whole, the ride ended up being great. I owe Jim a HUGE thank you for letting me whore off his wheel the entire last 20 miles. Despite my bonking, we still ended up averaging over 22 mph so I guess if that’s as bad as it gets, I’ll take it.
For those that haven’t done this ride, come on out next year! It’s a total blast!! And remember, be sure to eat and hydrate!