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Why'd I bonk?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Why'd I bonk?

Old 09-30-19, 10:57 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
after one day of rest and feeling down on myself, I got back on the saddle last Monday and committed myself to finding out what a proper ten hour week feels like. I started the week with some longer, flatter rides where I focused on intensity over flats and gentler climbs. Things got dicey for my ten hour plan when a cold front came in Thursday and brought some hardcore winds with it, but I stuck it out and got some good wind conditioning in. I finished the hours off strong with a great ride yesterday, knocked off a good PR on Kings Mountain (another good climb in the area,) and just generally enjoying myself cruising through the redwoods on a beautiful day.
Well done, I'm glad you had a good week. I also dug in last week, after a not-so-good week prior, and managed to put in a little over 13 hours.

Those winds on Thursday were quite the nuisance on open ground, but they weren't a bother on Old la Honda (another local climb). That's a nice thing about the local climbs, they are well sheltered by forest. Lots of debris on the road, though, making descending more exciting than usual.

Congratulations on your Kings Mountain PR! In addition to Kings, did you try Tunitas (the site of your bonk) again? Nothing better for your confidence than accomplishing a climb that bested you. Yesterday was a beautiful fall day. I rode the Kings-Lobitos-Tunitas climbs, trying not to wear myself out. It worked, the whole ride was free of suffering!
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Old 09-30-19, 08:40 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
That's a nice thing about the local climbs, they are well sheltered by forest.
Dear user terrymorse,

Just admit it, you're a true monster. Surely you knew that, putting this bug in my ear, I would find myself thinking about it as I wound my way through Woodside this afternoon. Surely you knew that, as I made the quick jog on Kings Mt from Albion to Tripp, I would think "you know, I could avoid the winds going home on Cañada if I just boogie up Kings and take Skyline/92 back." And no doubt you were well aware that, finding myself feeling good at the outset, I would decide to hammer and knock another 46 seconds off yesterday's PR on a friggin Monday evening.

By my calculations, at this rate of improvement, I should be able to instantaneously teleport from Tripp to Skyline with another 8 weeks of training (shh, don't tell me about performance plateaus yet, let me have just have this for tonight.)

Great stuff yourself! Ten hours is a bear, thirteen hours is downright inconceivable at this point. But these hills keep calling...

And no, haven't hit Tunitas again. But I ain't scared... much.
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Old 10-01-19, 11:26 AM
  #78  
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+1 for building more endurance. I've only been riding for about a year, but I came from an ultra running background, so there was a good amount of endurance to start. I've ridden 7,500 miles this year so far and should easily hit 10k for the year. On Sunday I did a century with over 11,000ft, including six Cat2 climbs, had no issues, and very minimal soreness after. I believe this is due to my training volume. Ultra running is the same way, it's all about time on your feet, or in this case, time in the saddle.
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Old 10-15-19, 09:47 AM
  #79  
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Glad to report back that after three weeks of higher volume training, I hit this ride again yesterday and felt great. I paced it better (each of the climbs a few minutes slower than my PRs.) But mostly I think my legs and lungs were just generally better prepared for a longer haul than they were last month. It was a beautiful day to cruise through the redwoods and reclaim some confidence. Now as for how the hell I get from here to full on centuries... well, one step at a time.

Thanks for all the advice and support!

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Old 10-16-19, 02:54 PM
  #80  
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I haven't yet done Old La Honda - coming from NYC, those climbing numbers scare me (we don't have any meaningful climbs close to Manhattan). The biggest I've done on the peninsula are Jefferson Ave in Redwood City and Pescadero Creek, in preparation for Coleman Valley Rd in Sonoma (as part of Levi's Gran Fondo). I'll get to Old La Honda eventually.

However, one thing I've learned, beyond the volume and types of food, is also the timing of when you eat. I try to eat something before I'm tired, hungry, and lethargic. For my typical NYC ride, that means 25 miles in at the turnaround point so that by the time I've hit the first return climb, electrolytes and sugar are starting to hit the bloodstream. I've done the ride on just water, but that's left me miserable for the second half of the return trip.
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Old 10-16-19, 03:02 PM
  #81  
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Coleman Valley Road looks awesome, from the description below, I'd like to try it sometime. Much steeper than Mt Tamapais. which is also awesome and in the area.

https://pjammcycling.com/climb/386.C...%20Road%20West
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Old 10-16-19, 04:40 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Coleman Valley Road looks awesome, from the description below, I'd like to try it sometime. Much steeper than Mt Tamapais. which is also awesome and in the area.

https://pjammcycling.com/climb/386.C...%20Road%20West
coleman Valley is steep but not very long. Beautiful views of the ocean.

Kings Ridge, Fort Ross, Meyers Grade, Sweetwater Springs are nearby climbs that are tougher.

The roads around the Russian River are great, well worth a multi-day trip.

EDIT: I found a photo I took of Coleman Valley Rd...



Oops, found another. Taken at the summit of Coleman Valley Rd. The cow was so chill.


Last edited by terrymorse; 10-16-19 at 06:37 PM. Reason: added photo of Coleman Valley Rd.
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Old 11-03-19, 10:31 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
Hey folks,

I bit off more than I could chew yesterday trying to up my endurance for long rides
I have read through this thread because I experienced something similar last week. I rode 103 miles, which was my third century this year, and had most of the hard climbing after about mile 70. I hadn't felt as energetic as I do on most rides, but not just terrible either. About halfway into the last 30 miles, I found myself with several big hills left to go to get back to my SUV. One, about a 15° gradient that really had me concerned that I may not make it, because I was feeling absolutely spent. I had about the same symptoms you described. Probably not nutritionally correct, but I stopped at a Target that was just off the path to get a Coke and Snickers bar. I made it up the big hill with about 8 miles to go, but just barely. Took all I had. With about 5 miles left, that hill behind me and flat ground ahead, I starting feeling much better. Maybe psychological, maybe the Coke and candy bar ...I don't know.

There's a lot of advice here, some probably good, and some probably over the top as mentioned. But in my humble (and not the best, most experienced cyclist to give advice) opinion ...I think it just comes down to the fact that some days you have IT, and some days you don't. No matter how much rest or sleep you get the night before, or what or how much you eat. I've had some of my best, most energetic rides with very little sleep and little or no food. Then some of my worst with great sleep and "ideal" nutrition. And of course, the outcome has been just the opposite of those scenarios also. It's my experience there's no rhyme or reason to being able to predict how well you will feel on a ride.

I mentioned about feeling better 5 miles from the end of my ride maybe being psychological. I honestly think that could apply to an entire ride as well. Sometimes it's simply the attitude you have about it, and not so much all the other stuff.
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