To Lockport and Back

Lockport and Back

I did my third 50K bike ride this past weekend. I headed to Lockport and back, a distance of 52.7K from my house.

I went on Sunday and it was a great day to be riding. I was feeling awesome when I headed out the door and cycled easily the 25K to Lockport. I did it in 1hr and 17min. I was working at my peak efficiency, which for me, is at a heart rate of 130 to 135 beats per minute.

I took a number of pictures along the way.

Leaving Winnipeg
Leaving Winnipeg
Canada Geese resting in the fields.
Canada Geese resting in the fields.
View while riding along the banks of the Red River.
View while riding along the banks of the Red River.
Historic St. Andrews Church on River Road.
Historic St. Andrews Church on River Road.

Once in Lockport I sat by the river and ate an apple and drank water.   I chatted with another cyclist that had also ridden from Winnipeg and then started to head back.

View of the locks.
View of the locks.
Pelicans located near the locks.
Pelicans located near the locks.

I found I was going slightly slower, my heart rate was in the range of 125 to 130 and I couldn’t seem to get it higher, then at about 35K into the ride, I just couldn’t ride anymore. This has never happened to me before. My upper thighs were killing me and I just didn’t have the energy to bike anymore. I actually got off my bike and walked, then rode a bit, walked some more, rode, walked, etc. all the way home. It was painful getting home and it took me two hours. I almost called my kids to come and pick me up, but didn’t.

My diet coach is also an elite cycling coach so we discussed what happened quite fully and how to prevent this from happening in the future.

There were two possible reasons for this to happen; 1) I didn’t eat enough food or 2) I may have not been recovered enough from previous exercise. After discussing what I had eaten prior to my bike ride and what exercise I had done in the preceding days, the conclusion was I was literally starving.

There is a term for what happened to me and it is called “bonking”. Bonking is a term cyclists use for abnormally low levels of blood glucose. You bonk when you have exhausted your glycogen stores, haven’t ingested enough carbs to produce more blood glucose, and are still riding the bike.

So I essentially did not ingest enough calories to last the whole ride. My coach recommended for a morning ride that I eat more calories at breakfast than what I normally do. I should eat about 600 calories (I had eaten 400) and start the ride within 1 hour of eating. He also recommended that every hour on the ride, I drink a bottle of grape juice mixed with water (40:60 ratio) and finally, I should take a banana or maybe some trail mix with me, just in case.

This bike ride was a real learning lesson for me.

I couldn't resist adding in the picture.  This was a Pumpkin Kiosk along Henderson Highway that had great displays.
I couldn’t resist adding in the picture. This was a Pumpkin Kiosk along Henderson Highway that had great displays.

Stats for this ride: 52.7K, average heart rate of 119, and I burned 1160 calories.

Stats for this ride; 52.7K, average heart rate of 119, and I burned 1160 calories.

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3 thoughts on “To Lockport and Back

  1. Hi Margaret – you should talk to Valerie about the psychic link to. She did 1400 commoners the summer with the cycle for hope. They attended a lot of sessions about the inns and outs of riding, what you should eat, how you should do it, and all that kind of stuff. Food was provided by cycle of hope, and by community organizations along the way. She said it seemed all they did was eat and cycle.

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  2. As I read your post, I thought, “uh-oh. She bonked!” I’ve never had the pleasure myself, but I know about it because of Val’s training for the Cycle of Hope. She rode from Niagara Falls to Winnipeg this past summer for Habitat for Humanity – 1400 kms! She trained for several weeks and attended their info sessions on such things as nutrition on the road, how to change a tire, etc., etc. She said if you didn’ stop for your breaks and eat, you’d feel it later. Cycle of Hope made sure everyone had a good breakfast and delicious food available along the way. Supper was provided by host community groups in various places. She never bonked, but a couple of people did. If you go to your FaceBook page I left you a comment on how you can see her “Valerie’s Big Adventure” Facebook page. I created it to follow her on her journey. Good for you for taking on 50 kms! My bike, I am ashamed to say, is sitting in the garage with 2 flat tires.

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