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"My Best Bonk" Contest Entry - Ken Trischuk
By:  Ken Trischuk   (2005/03/03)


Certainly has been great to read all of the "best bonk" stories. Nice to hear lots of others make the same mistakes. Interesting to read that most of them occurred during races. Presumably your mindset is focused on other elements of your performance and remembering to eat and drink sometimes slips by the wayside.

My best bonk occurred just this winter back in January - perhaps the most recent bonk seems the most painful. Surprisingly it was neither at a race nor on training exercise but in fact as I went out for some casual skiing on a beautiful day with fresh snow. It was midday before I could break away from home to get in some skiing. I figured I would have to head up to Lac Philippe to get away from the crowds that would surely be overrunning the Park on such a beautiful sunny day - the first sunny day in quite a while. As I drove up to the Ste. Cecile gate I worked on picking a route... perhaps up to Lusk Lake or around the Taylor Lake loop. Even as I got there I hadn't decided - too many good options. Much to my surprise, as I headed in to the Lac Philippe gate, Lafleur had closed it down as the parking lot was already full to overflowing. What now? A quick adjustment in my plans got me to a little used parking lot on the Eardley Escarpment road. I started skiing from there on the beautiful trail 56 but still didn't have much of a plan for where I was going or for how long. Too nice a day to care so I headed on letting my skis pick the trail. I wound my way into Taylor Lake and down along Trail 50 and the Lac Philippe shoreline. Wherever I went there were trails to explore and sunshine to soak up and so I carried on enjoying the day. With Lusk lake still in my head I started up trail 54 and even explored the old trail 10 before deciding that it still lacked enough snow to ski through. As I turned back I head out onto Lusk Lake itself and it was here that I began to realize I might have a problem. Breakfast had been some time ago and with no plan for a long ski, I had only brought one partially full bottle of water. The water bottle was now dwindling to empty. Without being aware of the distance I was covering, I had perhaps strayed too far and it was clear I was about to start paying for it. Downhill from Lusk Lake was fine - gravity is my friend - and the trail back to Taylor Lake went by without too much problem but as I started to head up the long climb on the backcountry trail 56, to the lookout and the road home, my body started to rebel. To add insult, the sun was now setting and the temperature began to drop. My pace started to fall off and in short order I was reduced to a trudge. Each rise in the trail seemed more daunting and I was powerless to force the pace but I knew I had to keep moving. My mind started to drift. Bargains were made - just get up this one rise and I'll take a little break. Stagger on to that bend and I'll buy a great big bottle of coke at the first depanneur. But my body argued back, where was the nearest depanneur? Where was the nearest drive-thru? How long before real food would re-enter my system? I guess you can't make deals with your body when the tank is empty. Visions of hot showers, massage therapists, intravenous cheesecake and other delights started to dance before my eyes... so onward I marched ever slower until finally I reached the top of the last hill. A long descent, taken slowly on wobbly legs, led me finally back to my car. A happier sight I haven't seen in a while. A 15-minute drive to the nearest depanneur found me spending the equivalent of a mortgage payment on chocolate, soda, baked goods and (reasonably) fresh fruit. While I ate a tremendous amount of food, it seemed, moments later, that I had eaten nothing and my stomach felt empty. That said the speed to which the sugar hit my blood stream was truly remarkable. I sat in my car in the parking lot gently trembling as the energy surged through my body. Lesson learned... although probably for the umpteenth time (will I ever truly learn?). Even if there is no real plan for a long ski... prepare for one by taking some food, ANY food, and topping up the water bottle. The trails might be just that nice that you don't want to come home!

Thanks for the chance to share and keep the trail condition reports coming. They are much appreciated.

Interesting Reading. . .
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