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A state of extreme exhaustion resulting from running out of energy while cycling

Example usage: I bonked on the last hill and had to take a break.

Most used in: Long-distance cycling events.

Most used by: Endurance cyclists and triathletes.

Popularity: 7/10

Comedy Value: 9/10

Also see: Bonk, Blowing up, Hitting the Wall, Bonking Out,

What is the Cycling Term 'Bonk'?

In cycling the term 'Bonk' is used to describe a sudden and dramatic decrease in energy levels during a ride. This can happen when the rider has not eaten or hydrated properly and is a result of the body running out of fuel. It is also known as “hitting the wall” or “bonking”.

Bonking can be a very dangerous situation for cyclists, as they can become disoriented and lose control of their bike. Symptoms of bonking can include feeling light-headed, dizzy, weak, and having difficulty concentrating. It can also lead to nausea, cramps, and exhaustion. To prevent this from happening, cyclists should ensure they are eating and drinking regularly throughout their ride.


The Origin of the Term “Bonk” in Cycling

The term “bonk” is used in cycling to describe the sudden feeling of fatigue and lack of energy that can come on during a long ride. It is thought to have originated in the United States in the late 1970s, when it was used to describe the feeling of “hitting the wall” during a race.

The term “bonk” is thought to have been coined by the American cyclist Jonathan Boyer, who used it to describe the feeling of exhaustion that comes on during a long ride. It was then popularised by the cycling magazine Bicycling, which ran an article about the phenomenon in 1979.

The term “bonk” has since become a common term in the cycling community to describe the feeling of fatigue and lack of energy that can come on during long rides. It is used to describe both the physical and mental exhaustion that can come on during a long ride, and is a reminder to cyclists to take care to stay properly hydrated and fuelled during their rides.

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1 comment

The “bonk” was in cycling way before that, prevalent in 1957 when i started and i think my father used the term and he stopped cycling seriously at the start of WW2. I do wonder how the tabloids changed it’s meaning as a slang term for sex. My theory is a cycling reporter when asked about his cycling weekend said “I bonked” another reporter asked what that meant and he replied “I was fucked”. Other cycling clubs used the term “The knock or hunger knock”.

John Pick

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