Thanks everyone for your comments and tips yesterday. Like most triathletes, eating on the bike is tricky for me. So from now on, I'm going to start making sure I follow the same pre-ride plan for every long ride. Porridge, then a banana if we leave too long after breakfast, then sports drink and a little smackerel every 10-20 minutes on the bike. It may mean I take on too many calories, so I'll have to watch the post-ride binges (!), but I think it's worth doing some experimentation.
BUT, I need to emphasise that I have bonked on the bike (hmm! sounds interesting...) even when I eat and drink relatively "well." It happened in a ride over the Haywards with Phil, Dave and Andrea. It happened in Rotorua, during the half-m, and it happened again in Rotorua when I rode the course last month. Also, although I maybe didn't have enough, I had almost exactly what Phil had for breakfast, pre-ride, and during the ride, although he had a bit more to drink during. So, that leads me to believe that there may be something more to it.
Coach Paul has made the very good point before that this will come with fitness and time. I've got some experience, but I'm still relatively new at this. Clearly, my blood sugar on the bike is something to watch out for and work on. I also have to accept that bike endurance is, for me, a whole different ballgame to run endurance. I need to consider my pacing, my nutrition, and my overall approach from scratch, and not simply to assume that because I can run a decent marathon (they haven't been that fast, but my splits were all reasonably even, and I've never had a real blowout), I can jump on the bike for the same length of time and do the same thing.
The other thing is, of course, work, eating well and rest. I had a terrible diet while I was in Wellington, barely slept, and worked late every night. Eventually, that's gotta catch up. And-oh! deja vu, it did, halfway through the Auckland marathon in 2007.... As Mike pointed out, I can't take a week off before every event, and, sadly, my timetable isn't predictable enough to plan in advance, but I CAN try to focus on eating as well as I can and resting as well as I can in the lead up to smaller events, like the ones I'm doing at the moment, and I can hedge my bets by taking a little extra leave before and after big events... Or, you know, I could just pull a "Phil" and start working civilised hours!
Anyway, that's all my thoughts for now. Thanks for the reminder to be positive. Don't worry- I generally am, and I know there are some good things to take away from Sunday, but every so often it all gets to be too much, and, well, that's what the blog's for...