Monday, August 11, 2008

No bonking

I completed the ACT Ride yesterday and met my personal goals:

(1) Make friends.
(2) Cheer fellow bikers up hills.
(3) Bike up every single hills unless precluded from doing so by injury (and I had no knee or other injuries, so I biked up every single hill -- yay!)
(4) Don't bonk.
(5) Bike the entire route.

I would post some pictures from the ride now, but seeing as I just woke up for the day (note time stamp), I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow. Along with the stinky stack of laundry and going grocery shopping. No worries about the latter -- I have enough frozen fruit and yogurt to create a smoothie semi-nirvana that will nourish me for the total two to four hours I plan to be awake today.

The secret to getting up those hills was reminding myself that this whole journey is symbolic of the fight against AIDS and I wanted to fight. I have friends who have survived AIDS for 20+ years now, and I wanted to have a fraction of the gumption they do. And a fraction of the gumption of those who have passed.

A note about bonking: Last time I did the ACT Ride (in 2005), I was really sick of Gatorade by the third day. So I stopped drinking Gatorade in favor of water with added electrolyte powder. This seemed like solid thinking at the time, but it wasn't. The electrolyte powder has only one to four grams of carbohydrates per serving. So, only twenty miles away from the day's finish (and half a mile from the next pit stop), I bonked.

It was not as dramatic as described in the above link (I was still able to pedal and, when off my bike, remain standing), but it was a very strange feeling. One moment, I was fine; the next moment, all the mojo had been sucked out of me. Everything took on a more vivid hue. In the ACT Ride, no rider gets left behind (or alone at the side of the road), so I was safely escorted to that pit stop and then by bus to camp. Nonetheless, it was a very very creepy feeling and I decided that I had learned my lesson.

This year, I drank Gatorade no matter how disgusting it tasted and sucked on lots of those sports gels (although I do remain finicky with the latter, sucking on only chocolate or, in a pinch, coffee or vanilla flavors, because these at least have a vague resemblance to pudding, while all the other flavors are just gross). Also, there was a health food company that donated gallons and gallons of this electrolyte-containing juice drink called Zola, and having that option meant I didn't have to drink as much Gatorade. Plus, the Zola was loaded with caffeine in the form of guarana and, as much as I would like it not to be true, caffeine really does help your muscles work when you are pedaling for hours on end.


abcgirl said...

congratulations, kiapita! what a great accomplishment. go rider! woo hoooooo!

Anonymous said...

Go Kiapita! You rule. And welcome back home.