cycling jargon

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 22 07:43:12 UTC 2011

Some terms that cyclists use to describe reaching the point of inability to
keep up the pace:

[has] cracked, bonked, [is] cooked, [is] shelled + [is] spent, [has] hit the
wall, [is/has] broken [down]

Of these, literal sense of "to bonk" is the same as "to hit the wall"; to
crack (OED 15. "To come to pieces, collapse, break down") in one incarnation
means the same thing as to break down. The only one that comes close in OED
is crack v. 15. Bonk and hit the wall are more general athletic jargon as
well, as might be "spent" as well, but the rest are pretty much cycling
only. "Cooked" might be an equivalent/short for "goose is cooked", but I've
seen no evidence of this in current usage in race coverage.


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