Friday, March 15, 2013

Bonking, Sugar and Root Canals

What do meth-heads and cyclists have in common?

Bad teeth for one.

I developed a tooth ache after a long ride over a week ago. The tooth ache was brought about by saturating my pie hole with sugary gels, soft drinks and candy bars over the course of a 75 mile ride.

My awesome nutrition plan worked for about the first 70 miles. That last five, not so good.

Fortunately, those last few miles came after Shim and I turned away from the main group. A group that I desperately wanted to NOT expose my weakness to, which included Shim, Lucas, Rafal, Noah and our own World Champion Mark Savery. Three candy bars, a can of coke and one Rice Krispie treat got me through those first 70 miles with vigor, allowing me to save face in front of the entire group. Well almost. Shim joined me as I turned away from the group and headed home. At that point I was running on fumes. A Bonk was eminent. Within a couple miles, that good old woozy-headed feeling came on. I struggled to turn the pedals on a 2% false flat and then preceded to get dropped by Shim, who was soft pedaling while running his trap about how stupid it was to do an extra 25 mile loop the rest were doing. He didn't notice that I drifted back, way back in fact. It wasn't until he was a quarter mile up the road that he looked back, slowed down and allowed me to catch up. I then told him I had to pee.

Next to intentionally shifting your chain off your front ring, the "I need to pee" excuse is well played when bonking. It allows you to get off your bike (relieve yourself) and then take in some nourishment while shooting the breeze for a moment afterward.

As an aside, while peeing along Fontenelle Blvd and Sorensen Parkway, I noticed a large dog freely roaming the streets of North Omaha. Normally, this is not something you want to see when you're doing your business, especially considering the dog might take your actions as a threat to his territory. But since I was mid-bonk, and my brain was in a fuzz, I just thought that the whole scene was simply interesting. While I was urinating, he went car to car, standing on his giant hind legs, and with front paws resting on the roof, peering into each parked vehicle. Polar bear style. He never saw me. Whew. That was close and in hind sight, kinda scary.

Anyway, I finished my business and quickly stuffed my mouth with yet another Snickers and saddled up.

The amount of sugar subjected to my teeth that day overwhelmed a deep filling on the right side of my mouth. Over the next few hours, a tooth ache developed. The tooth ache's constant low grade throbbing evolved into a massive headache during the next 24 hours. I couldn't sleep Sunday night and called in sick on Monday.

I hate taking any medication. Hate it. But by early Monday morning, the pain was so bad that I started popping Aleve like it was Pez. A few hours later, the pain had subsided considerably. In its place, a spotted rash began to develop over my torso. Hives. Great. This is why I hate medication. It seems that every time I take something, my immune system goes berserk. In short order, bright red splotches formed directly over my kidneys.

With pain under control, I downgraded to a lower dosage of 200mg of Ibuprofen, and kicked in a few Benadryl to quell the histamine reaction.

A few days later, poor sleep, intermittent pain and recurring headaches prompted a visit to the Dentist. The Dentist suggested trying a round of antibiotics before going to option 2: root canal. As much as I hated the thought of antibiotics, it's worth a try to avoid a root canal.

More pills. More red splotches and a possible root canal in the future.

All of this to avoid bonking.

And I failed at that too.



  1. That sucks. I think I've got a pair of pliers around here somewhere if you want to take care of the problem for good.