Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Saturday, July 26, 2008


The best thing about bonking (or even just strenuous prolonged exercise) is the condition that I am going to call "bonkalicious". I did a Google search, and it seems I am the first to coin this term for this particular meaning...

If you don't know what bonking is, follow the link to Wikipedia. It's not what you may think, you people with dirty minds!

When you have bonked or have been cycling for at least several hours, your taste buds miraculously modify themselves. Suddenly, even the most mundane foods taste like gourmet meals. (And other foods that are normally tasty start to taste like something you would line a litter box with.)

Let me give an example. I did a 300k (185 mile) randonneuring ride 3 years ago with my friend Jeff. At the 100 mile mark, they had a nice little lunch stop. I made myself a ham and salami sandwich with mayonnaise. Just a piece of Wonder bread, generic salami, baked ham, american cheese, and Hellman's. I swear it was the best sandwich I've ever eaten.

At the last rest stop of the ride, they had some summer sausage - you know, that questionable meat stick that doesn't require refrigeration. I couldn't stop eating it. I swear there was some kind of drug in it. It was bonkalicious.

I'm sure all other cyclists are aware of this effect, but I thought I would put a name to it.

I experienced this phenomenon today to some extent. I had a flat tire half-way through my 35 mile ride. I have been eating a light breakfast before my rides to try to lose weight, and then timing my rides so that I don't run out of steam but burn into some of my reserves. (This is how I lost 60 lbs in 6 months several years ago.) Unfortunately, the flat tire threw me off, and the 15-20 minutes in the hot sun to fix it dried me out. I ended up bonking about 3 miles from home. I had to stop and walk up the last little hill to our house because I felt I might faint. Ooops, dumb mistake. I should have brought some food.

But, the benefit of this mistake was that any leftovers I had in the fridge were bonkalicious. I couldn't get enough 3-day old food for my lunch!

No comments: