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smarauder68

Worst Cases of Bonking...

What are your worst cases of bonking or biting off more than you can chew when it comes to attacking a climb?

Mine was yesterday here in Salt Lake. After some recent improvements in my climbing, I decided (Foolishly) to have a go at the steepest, yet relatively short climb in our city. You should know that after a couple of lazy years in Miami, I arrived in Salt Lake, 2 months ago in the worst shape of my life...6-1 and over 250 lbs...Always carried extra lbs, but never like this...So, I'm probably one of the least likely climbers you'll ever see on a bike taking on steep hills.

The climb is about 5 miles from where I started and was only 800m in duration, but averages about 15% gradient with a max around 20% near the top over the last 100m.  Making matters more difficult, it was still 98 degrees(40c) when I set off on my trip and the pollen count was extremely high, causing me to have a runny and stuffed up nose throughout.

I took it pretty easy getting to the base of the climb, so I wasn't too short of breath or hurting in anyway other than my allergies...400m into this climb, I realized I wasn't ready for this severe of a gradient....I had to veer off into a parking lot and circle around for 2 minutes on flat ground while I caught my breath...I nearly turned around and went back down, calling it a day, but my competitive juices were flowing and soon after, I started climbing again...it wasn't long before I was dying again, but this time I decided to get out of the saddle (relieving thigh burning) and making some nice progress. I don't have pedal clips and when my right foot nearly fell off the pedal during this violent struggle, I sat back down and finished the last 50m swaying quite violently from side to side with each turn of the pedal.

Finally, I reached the top and turned right onto a slight descent....As I coasted down the road, I felt a crazy mix of happiness, pain and fear...I felt happy for having conquered the beast of Salt Lake, but pain in my lungs and thighs were tempering my celebratory mood...As I continued on my ride, now on flat surfaces, I suddenly felt like I was losing my energy and started to think about eating. It was 8pm and I hadn't eaten since noon so I decided to curtail my route and return home to eat. The return home wasn't very difficult, but I felt dizzy along the way and had very little energy left...then nearly puked 3 or 4 times once in my house...I was seriously praying to the porcelain gods for about 5 minutes until suddenly, the dizziness started to go away.

Did I experience a bonk episode? What are your worst cases of bonking and do they usually come with climbing steep mountains?
Boogerd_Fan

I wouldnt say that is a classic case of bonking.. i'd say that is an out of condition guy going too hard into the red to the point where your body was screaming at you to stop before you pass out Smile

happens to me a few times when racing an 11% 0.6km hill prime in Bratislava... by the top i'm dizzy, light headed and arms feeling like they're made of lead from the pull on the handlebars.

i'm no scientist, but its related to high (near to or over max.) heart rate efforts.

bonking is when you've spent 5 hrs in the saddle foolishly without drinking/eating and you can no longer even push the pedals anymore.
cyclingtv

sm.. bf is pretty much bang on..
wasn't a really smart thing to do..
being it was 98 degrees and you
caring that extra weight and all..

I bonked badly once during the last 10
km of my first lone 160+km 6 hour ride..
I couldn't pedal another stroke.. got a ride
by a passer-by who was also a cyclist and
saw me sitting on the side obviously bonked..
smarauder68



Its hard to accurately depict the steepness of hills with still photos...this might help...Took these from my car the other day.
smarauder68



side view near top.
smarauder68



You can see how the last 100m ramps up even steeper...
CapeRoadie

Worst bonk?  1995 Boston Marathon.  Nobody should run for 4 hours.  Was at a 7:00/mi pace for 20 miles, then my body seized up.  Finished at a 15:00+/mi pace for the last 6 mi.  In the 1980 race I ran a 2:52.  Unofficially.  It was nice being 19 years old.  I'm in better shape now, though.  Just not for running!
smarauder68



Conquered the beast that once nearly killed me...it's amazing how outta breath you can get in such a short distance of actual climbing.
MAILLOT JAUNE

Chapeau!!!!!!
Bartali

Good work Scott!  Chapeau!!
Biosphere

So about 4 photos up there's what appears to be a very big cycle path? How does that work cos it looks like there's one coming down the hill too leaving very little space for cars. Is it more of a reminder to cars to share the road with bikes?

Excellent on the climbing - keep chipping away at it Smile
smarauder68

The last photo you see was taken from my car during a lunch break the other day...its the best photo I've taken that depicts how severe the slope is...According to a hippie who works at my bike shop, its 22% over the last 200m....before that a mere 14% over 200m and then 400m at 6% - The legs only burned near the top but the breathing got difficult over the final 100m...Upon reaching the top I turn right and coast down a slight downhill and caught my breath, which took me about 3 minutes.  

Are there any recorded cases of cyclists dying from asphyxiation or simply being outta breath?
smarauder68

Biosphere wrote:
So about 4 photos up there's what appears to be a very big cycle path? How does that work cos it looks like there's one coming down the hill too leaving very little space for cars. Is it more of a reminder to cars to share the road with bikes?

Excellent on the climbing - keep chipping away at it Smile



In the last 50 meters or so, the bike path goes away so the cars can turn right on red....Something that we Americans enjoy having the option of doing in our cars. I never understood why Europeans picked up on McDonalds and KFC, but won't allow right turns on red....lol

Anyway, the sign on the road is in fact to remind the drivers to share the road and be aware of fat guys like me chugging up on their right.
Biosphere

smarauder68 wrote:
Are there any recorded cases of cyclists dying from asphyxiation or simply being outta breath?


I'd be surprised by a purely being out of breath scenario. I'd have thought you would just grind to a halt or pass out, rather than the body taking on an oxygen debt it can't repay.

Complications from things like dehydration and heart attacks are a lot easier to imagine.
smarauder68

Well, that's comforting...I felt like I may simply asphyxiate there for a few seconds but within 2 or 3 minutes I was catching my breath...Woulda been interesting to catch my heart rate at the top....Was probably over 180.
berck

Congrats Scott!
Boogerd_Fan

some guy just beat my strava KOM record on the following 0.5km brute:

http://www.hobart10000.com/segmen...amp;FitGradient=true&Angle=10

this means war... going to thrash out a new top time tonight - will probably result in serious breathing like SM! Smile

Update: hammered it Very Happy
Bartali

Good luck Boogie ...
Boogerd_Fan

took it back by 9 seconds in the end Smile
Bartali

That's 8 seconds too many Wink

Well done!!
smarauder68

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
took it back by 9 seconds in the end Smile


You got any photos of your climb?
Boogerd_Fan

click the link Smile for a virtual image - i can go and get photo's if you want, but it's not as open or smooth tarmac as your monster Smile
Biosphere

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
click the link Smile for a virtual image - i can go and get photo's if you want, but it's not as open or smooth tarmac as your monster Smile


Link?
smarauder68

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
click the link Smile for a virtual image - i can go and get photo's if you want, but it's not as open or smooth tarmac as your monster Smile


Your link doesn't work for me...Just a white page with a few lines of text at the top...no images or links to images.
Boogerd_Fan

hmm weird i get a severe 500m 15% ramp Smile

on google maps enter Sulekova, Bratislava and there is a panorama photo taken from the corner about half way up. I'd put a link to that - but i dont see where i can link from google maps.
smarauder68

Found a new challenge here in Salt Lake...Not as steep as the beast at 13 n 13, but this climb is about  2km of 15% hell. From the north side of downtown to the foothills overlooking the city. It's known as the "avenues" here in Salt lake and I'm thinking it would make a great finale for a stage in the Tour of Utah.

With little or no traffic, I found myself zig-zagging up the last 1km.... to keep from totally blowing a gasket. Nothing to be proud of, but that's my current reality.



Bartali

Good work Scott!!
smarauder68

I'm left to wonder how much easier it would all be on a road bike....????
Biosphere

smarauder68 wrote:
I'm left to wonder how much easier it would all be on a road bike....????


My guess is not much. I think you're dominated by weight and you're going to change the weight that needs to get up the hill by about 3 to 4 percent. Suspect you're not going fast enough to get huge benefit from road bike, but rolling resistance improvements might be worth a few more percent. Taken together at the pointy end of GT racing those kind of gains are massive, but for the lone rider keeping fit, 5-6% easier might be classed more as a marginal gain Smile
smarauder68

Biosphere wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
I'm left to wonder how much easier it would all be on a road bike....????


My guess is not much. I think you're dominated by weight and you're going to change the weight that needs to get up the hill by about 3 to 4 percent. Suspect you're not going fast enough to get huge benefit from road bike, but rolling resistance improvements might be worth a few more percent. Taken together at the pointy end of GT racing those kind of gains are massive, but for the lone rider keeping fit, 5-6% easier might be classed more as a marginal gain Smile


Thanks!  Can always count on an analytical and detailed assessment....I guess I'll just keep plodding along....I'm not even ready to start thinking about blood doping yet... Wink
Boogerd_Fan

Road bike - If you're over 90kg trying to "power" up the climb like you do on a mountain bike is gonna lead to catastrophic fail of the bike at some point. Drop weight a bit more, and then enjoy the road bike!
gerry12ie

SM - it's important to be aware of the (only Wink) fun bit of climbing - the descent!  In that aspect, a road bike is far superior and safer,  as I would suggest that descending at speed in an upright position on a hybrid can be quite dangerous.  An entry level CX bike or decent aluminium frame road bike will take the weight, would be much safer descending and should brighten up the climb a bit when you go wheee down the other side.
cyclingtv

gerry.. I have it from a rather dubious authority that
SM is known to plan ahead since being so very very
fatigued at the top that he typically has a taxi waiting
for a ride back to his car at the foot of the hill Wink  Laughing
berck

cyclingtv wrote:
gerry.. I have it from a rather dubious authority that
SM is known to plan ahead since being so very very
fatigued at the top that he typically has a taxi waiting
for a ride back to his car at the foot of the hill Wink  Laughing


No, that's all wrong. The taxi is used to get him up the hill, then he descends it. Wink Very Happy
cyclingtv

that might explain all those popped spokes Smile
Bartali

Leave him alone ... he's doing a great job!  He'll be sprinting up those climbs soon enough ... just needs the right preparation ....
Boogerd_Fan

hmm but looks like SM isn't ready to start "preparing" properly:

"I'm not even ready to start thinking about blood doping yet..."

cca Tyler 1996.
Biosphere

gerry12ie wrote:
SM - it's important to be aware of the (only Wink) fun bit of climbing - the descent!  In that aspect, a road bike is far superior and safer,  as I would suggest that descending at speed in an upright position on a hybrid can be quite dangerous.  An entry level CX bike or decent aluminium frame road bike will take the weight, would be much safer descending and should brighten up the climb a bit when you go wheee down the other side.


I hadn't considered the descent aspect. I've given it a bit of thought since, but not enough thought to do a bit of research. I thought hybrids had very similar geometry to mountain bikes and the differences were in gearing and wheels which were closer to road bikes. Hence the hybrid name. I may well be wrong and if I am then everything else that follows is also.

Mountain bikes are definitely made for going down hill. Steep ones too. I live on a hill with hairpins and I descend every morning to train station on mountain bike without feeling like I'm missing something compared to road bike. I've put slick tires on it as I don't go off road, so that nudges it  a little towards hybrid. It's a deliberately a crap bike which is basically my main anti theft device, and I still feel it handles fine for what I use it for. Yes, the front end understeers compared to road bike, but not by much.

The different geometry of a road bike also means the weight is more forward and over the front wheel. That might might not feel so good for all people especially if there is a lot of weight involved. It takes getting used to.

Ultimately though I'd recommend getting a  road bike too. Wonder if I'd wait until target weight had been achieved and a few test rides could then be made and the bike would feel like it would long term before picking one . . .
CapeRoadie

Bartali wrote:
Leave him alone ... he's doing a great job!  He'll be sprinting up those climbs soon enough ... just needs the right preparation ....


smarauder68

One of the toughest climbs in Utah is called "Little Cottonwood" which was used for Stage 5 of the Tour of Utah this year.  This photo was taken about 10 days ago near the top of that climb.  Just another reason why I'm loving Utah!
Geraint

great photo
Biosphere

Geraint wrote:
great photo


Indeed. Colours are amazing.
ullrichfan

smarauder68 wrote:
Just another reason why I'm loving Utah!


What are the other reasons?  Your 15 wives?  Twisted Evil
smarauder68

ullrichfan wrote:
smarauder68 wrote:
Just another reason why I'm loving Utah!


What are the other reasons?  Your 15 wives?  Twisted Evil


I was thinking 3 or 4 would be about right... Wink

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