3:30 am EST and my alarm is buzzing. Only a few hours of sleep, and all I want to do is roll over and let slumber take me again. Suddenly hear the voice in my head saying get the **** up and ride, and I begrudgingly comply. Checking the temperature and winds on my phone, I decide on a set of 3/4 length tights and a thin baselayer under my jersey, I prefer to be too warm than too cold quite honestly.
I make it downstairs with my bike, fire up the espresso machine and stare across the dimly lit kitchen glumly waiting for my fuel to be dispensed. Heck, I hate it!
Satisfied with my pre-ride routine, I head outside and thumb through my music selection. As I’m feeling tired and not at all in the mood to do this, I choose a clearly very cultured selection of classic rock and heavy medal. By now the caffeine is kicking in and I’m feeling like doing this a lot more so off I go! My first half was fairly uneventful… The world is a pretty quiet place at 4 am. I take note of the winds and am relieved to know that I have the typical east to west headwind. Thinking I’ll have an easier time of it on the way back home, I push Kestrel into high gear and shoot across the pavement in the direction of the ocean.
I soon zone out to all but the rhythmic bass of my music and the high pitched wirring of by bike beneath me, and I’m home. Eventually reaching my destination, I take a pause, sit down on my top tube and take a drink while listening to the ocean; the smell of salt permeates everything, and it’s a smell I’ve learned to love.
Taking note of the time, I decide it’s time to head back west, excited for the extra speed the winds will give me. As soon as I started and shifted into my big chairing, something felt very, very wrong. As I heaved past a group of flagpoles, I realized what it was. The winds had shifted, and I was in for a double headwind day. Shit.
Twenty or so minutes into my trip home, I began to feel the uncomfortable twisting sensation in my gut that indicated I was about to be running on empty, and not long after that’s exactly what happened. I began to feel every single imperfection in the road, and quickly grew annoyed. I was bonking hard, and was still close to ten miles away from home.
For those of you who have never bonked – it’s awful and I 0 out of 10 recommend it. In addition to feeling queasy and hangry, holding a steady pace in a regime you’re normally used to holding becomes an apocalyptic nightmare. This is dangerous territory, as your risk of falling or crashing increases by a LOT.
Eventually I did make it home, fighting myself and the winds all the way, and while it was certainly not my best ride, it was one that served as a reminder of what could happen if I failed to prepare properly in the future.
In a nutshell, bonking sucks, do not recommend!
“Earn Your Tailwind”