Day 20 Over the Mountain


Today I bonked for the first time in my riding career.


We have a very long ride of 90 miles with about 4500 feet of climbing, some with 8-10 % grades.

Aftwr a Shelter breakfast of Cheerio and coffee we head out at day break. No tail wind today but at least it is not raining. The first 40 miles pass uneventfully


and then we turn south into the mountains. Our goal is the McDonald Telescope at 7300 feet.

Down between peaks


we ride and the landscape gradually turns green and cows appear in the fields. We have to be careful riding to avoid the tarantulas crossing the road.


About 55 miles in we begin seriously climbing and I become concerned that I did not bring enough water and that I have not eaten enough for the climb… a bowl of Cheerios and two bananas all day. There are no towns along this 90 mile stretch.

I stop to check my supplies, 2 bottles of water and an orange. I think I have made a rare error of judgement.

Up I begin rationing the water. Half way to the top I eat the orange. Higher and higher I climb and begin to get a little short of breath above 6000 feet but I refuse to stop or walk.

At 500 feet from the top where the rest van is with water I have exhausted my “ supplies” and actually feel a little faint when I stop. By riding again I shoot my blood pressure up and feel better.

And suddenly I can see the telescopes


and know I an near the top. With true grit I pedal out the last 2 miles to the van and arrive exhausted and very dry. I stop to rest and drink 3 liters of Tang.

As I round the telescopes I start down only to realize I will need to pedal some due to winds coming up the mountain side.

My nights stay in Fort Davis is still 20 miles away.

As I finally pull into town I realize my thinking is off a bit and come to know that I am bonking…my blood glucose  levels are quite low. I pull into a grocery store on the outside of town and buy a quart of milk which I quickly down. 20 minutes later I feel better and ride to the church where the others cheer me in but also say I have a flat… for how long I haven’t the vaguest idea… bonking clouds the mind.

Another rider is kind enough to help me with the flat and then I eat and eat and eat.

3 hours later I feel better…

No more…once bonking is enough for me… lesson learned.

Bunch of bananas isolated on white background

PS that was my first flat in 6000 miles.

2 thoughts on “Day 20 Over the Mountain

  1. “Higher and higher I climb and begin to get a little short of breath above 6000 feet but I refuse to stop or walk.” That sounds SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO you!


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