Posted 06/21 by Ruthie BenDor

Bonking on a bicycle is not nearly as fun as Urban Dictionary may have you believe. Basically, it’s what happens when your body runs out of quick energy to burn, and you feel as though you’ve hit a wall. Today I learned an important lesson in how to avoid bonking: don’t ever be caught out without a snack.

I started the day in Troy by mailing home a few pounds of stuff I now realize I won’t need, then set off along the beautiful, paved bike path.

Mailing home

So far I’ve been passing convenience stores or through towns every few miles, so I didn’t think to grab any snacks before leaving Troy. Big mistake. This bike path wound along the Mohawk River through barren suburbia, and wasn’t nearly as flat as I’d been expecting. Fifteen miles later, my legs felt like lead and I was no longer thinking clearly, so I bailed on the bike path and found my way to the town of Niskayuna and a very well-placed diner. Hooray for french toast.

Best one yet

Though I’d been planning to follow the Mohawk River right across New York, the offer of housing and conversation in Galway was too tempting to pass up. After Schenectady, I turned north and did my best to ignore afternoon heat and fifteen miles of rolling hills to Galway, where Build Guild member and all-around cool dude Jace Richardson lives with his fiancee Ashley.

Jace and Ashley

There was also a Shop-Vac incident.

Shop-Vac FTW

Tomorrow morning, Jace will drop me off in Fonda and I’ll continue on my merry way along the Mohawk River.

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Hee. I grew up in Niskayuna. It’s not flat. At all.

By Jared M. Spool on 2011 07 03

So true about bonking. I bonked on day 3 of the 1999 AIDS Ride. After riding my first (and only!) ever centuries the 2 days before, I was 80 miles into a 95 mile ride that day and my legs just dropped out from under me. It was a miserable last few miles into camp that night.

So, the bad news is when you hit the Rockies these ‘hills’ you’re talking about here are going to seem like a fond memory (I-70 west of Denver crests at 11,000 feet). The good news is you’ll have a couple thousand miles behind you so you should be well and truly fit by the time you have to tackle them.

Good luck, Ruthie! Keep on pedaling and stay safe out there!

By Andrew Hedges on 2011 07 03