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"My Best Bonk" Contest Entry - Andrew Henry
By:  Andrew Henry   (2005/03/03)

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Having bonked an unimaginable number of times I was surprised to be at a loss for a good story. To get right to it, the state in which a person has ended up after bonking is all too familiar. And there are such degrees to bonking, like the spectrum running from mild concussion to being knocked out cold. We've all been there, it's not really pleasant, but having been there a few times one knows that you'll recover from it and... well, you just get used to it.

That's not to say that my many bonks have not been unimportant. Mark Rab, when asked how many times he'd done the Ski Marathon was able to determine the answer with some accuracy by recalling the number of times myself or another friend had bonked while doing the Marathon with him.

I brought up the best bonk story with friends and explained that I really couldn't peg my best bonk. Friends are wonderful, they help you see things much more clearly. They pointed out my first bonk, maybe it was my second... nevertheless a good many bonks ago.

When I was sixteen, or thereabouts, a friend, who now runs a bike tourism business in Ottawa (that narrows it down to two people), and was a junior road racer at the time, dragged me out to ride the loop. A good bonk set in as we left the Park at the Gamelin gate. My buddy, who isn't prone to bonking but had certainly seen it many times before pulled me the through the last stretch of parkway, into Hull. I didn't have any food or money to buy some with me, and I begged Pete to buy me something at the nearest depanneur.

I waited outside the dep as Pete headed up the stairs anticipating something sweet, like chocolate, an O'henry bar would have been good, I didn't know about good chocolate back then. A bag of chips and a coke would have been good too. The simple act of opening a package wrapper would have been enough to start me on the return back from my bonk, I probably would have had to have Pete open the package though. I was hopeful that things could only get better once I got some food in me, even though there was what I considered at the time a good distance to go before I was home.

As Pete came out the door, and stepped out onto the veranda, which was about five feet above grade, he raised the treasure trove of goodies that he'd purchased in the air, showing off his bounty, a bounty that only a sixteen year old teenage boy from Ottawa could truly appreciate. A mega pack of foot long liquorice in one hand and six cans of Miller in the other.

What lay in either of his hands, I knew immediately, would not offer redemption from the state I was in. It continued to be a long ride home.

 
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