Big Road Trip Day 9, July 15 – The Glendo Bonk

Tom and I got up early and rolled into Glendo state park grabbing one of the last available campsites with any shade. We got organized to ride and were on our bikes at 9 AM anticipating a 1.5 to 2 hour ride.


North Platt river valley at Glendo State park from Feather Ridge trail.

Glendo is a fantastic state park with over 42 miles of biking/hiking trail and a huge reservior. The campsites are dominated by power boaters this time of year but a ranger explained to us that by mid August they don’t come anymore as water access is lost. He said that the bikers come back in droves in mid Sept. Tip – If you’re going there to ride, Two Moons Campground is your best option.

Tom and I were expecting what we see in a lot of state parks in OR where they cater heavily to the average user, you know, paved trails with maybe a a few single track trails that get little use. Not here.

Finding shade on Feather Ridge Trail

There is a ton of legit mountain biking. Rocky, climby, switchie and challenging.

So we headed out on our ride, the first trail being pretty rocky but flat, so challenging but doable. Rated blue. Then some super fun flowy trail on a plateau. Green. Follwed by a tough descent where I had trouble walking down part of it. Red. More blue trail, some rocky bits I couldn’t clear, hard work but doable. At this point we’re a little over an hour in and I’m feeling challenged but pretty good. I’m also feeling pretty confident that I can ride the blue trails pretty well in this park. So we cross the river and start up a blue trail that I could ride it it was smooth, but it is technical and I’m coming off frequently and walking. I’m not concerned, we’ll ge to the bit at the top, ride the plateau where it’s flat and I should be fine. Only, it never flattens out and never gets smoother. THIS DID NOT FEEL LIKE A BLUE TRAIL. Meanwhile it’s getting properly hot and I’m starting to feel bonky inspite of taking in fuel.

If you don’t understand what a bonk is, here’s a brief description. Bonking is what happens when your blood glucose gets low enough that your central nervous system is no longer getting enough fuel to work properly. This is also know as hitting the wall. I’ve bonked many a time and I can usually see it coming. So you back off a bit, take in some fuel, let your body digest and things get better again. Only, I couldn’t back off because the trail was never easy. This was all complicted by it getting very hot and my stomach had stopped emptying. So all the water and fuel was Ihad taken in was not making it into my system. It was sitting in my now very big bloated stomach.

The technical aspects of the trail required all of the concentration I could muster. So once my central nervous system wasn’t getting the glucose it needed, I started to really really struggle with the smallest rock or bump or switchie and I started coming off my bike a lot. When you come off your bike suddenly to stop because you’ve messed up an obstacle or turn or… the bike often bumps into you.

It looks worse that it is. The back of my legs look about the same.

For me that means a lot of bruises that look worse than they are. The big thigh bruises are from the one significant fall I had, it was slow but on a steep bit and both thighs hit my handlebar.


Love this shower set up

There may not be crying in baseball but there is crying in mountain biking. Unlike Tom Hanks in the clip, my Tom was fantastic. Staying close, giving me lots of support and when we finally got off the technical trails and I could very slowly roll back to the the campsite on road, he raced ahead and got our camp shower set up for me so I could cool down quickly. Total moving time on the bike was 2:41 for about 11 miles. Ugh.

Great set up, but you have to watch out for the flasher factor in the wind

So the remainder of the day was spent hanging out at the campsite, recovering and looking into a way to manage being vanless (and therefore homeless) with a dog in Golden CO for several days, in 90+ degree heat starting Tuesday.

Tom did as much or more of the same ride we did in the AM at twilight. He’s on his way to getting back into shape.