It Follows

It’s such a ridiculous rites of passage. When you first start doing the longer rides, it’s almost as if every single ride ends in near-bonk experience, a visual foreshortening, entering the field of stars, shaking like a shitting dog type of thing. Then you get fitness and form, and learn how to avoid the bonk and it becomes a repressed and distant memory, something gone but never forgotten and something that happens to other people. But it never really goes away. One day, it lurks stage right before exploding into your field of vision, it stalks through long journeys, just like the entity in ‘it follows’, which although ostensibly about teen sex and horror and STDs, is actually one big metaphor for the knock.


So anyway, my recent confession prompted some absolute horror stories from the gang. This one came from Madison Genesis rider Isaac Mundy:

“I once bonked so hard in Brittany I was reduced to pillaging very unripe corn from a field. And then seeing it again.”

Even the strongest of us all had a terrible story of misjudgement:

“We were out doing one of those self-consciously epic rides in the Alps, up and over various climbs, all around the place. I’d eaten all my food by about 11am. We then headed up the Sarenne and the lights went out. I resorted to scouring the side of the road, looking for a discarded gel wrapper just so I could suck out what was left in the bottom and somehow make it up to the top of the mountain.  

And then there is the pocket rocket’s tale of woe:

It was in the Alps… I blew my doors off. The other lads went on ahead. I was dead. I was actually trying to thumb a lift up the Galibier. It was game over. I would have killed someone for a cup of tea and a welsh cake. 

And Greener’s story of a ride home with just a banana and Cheddar Gorge collapsing on his head.

Feel free to add your own sorry saga to the pantheon of bonks.

One thought on “It Follows

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  1. Back in the day. About 1987, I rode in the John Perks reliability trial which went out to Buxton from Sutton Coldfield, I was young and foolishly didn’t take any food with me so after about 50 miles of chaingang action my senses started to fail. I didn’t know what was going on, I thought I was dying. I got off my bike and walked for a while until I found a farmhouse. I called my parents and my dad came the 10 miles to pick my sorry body up.
    It was before gels, mobile phones and widespread nutrition advice. I’ll never forget the day I nearly died.

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