Tandem Cycling - Taking one for the team
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Sometimes Captains have to take one for the team in exchange for having a seat in the Grand Tier – we are contantly bombarded by wind, rain, stones and bugs. On Sunday’s ride at approximately the halfway point, something hit my face and lodged in my helmet around the temple area of my sunglasses. It was windy and there was a lot of blowing stuff so I did not think much about it and tried to clear it by removing my sunglasses. Then I felt a sharp pain in my temple:eek: :eek: . I informed the stoker that we must stop – NOW. My wife looked at my temple and pulled out a stinger / thorn. She said, “I think it is a thorn”. It looked to me like a common honey bee’s stinger but I went alone with the thorn theory and toyed with the idea of taking an antihistamine. I passed on the antihistamine because I did not want to give up any reaction time. I would check it out at our coffee stop. It hurt like h?ll for about 15 minutes:cry: and then went away. I felt okay and we finished our ride. I felt great Sunday evening and Monday. I woke up this morning, Tuesday, with a swollen left eye and big red welt where the sting was. I took antihistamine this morning and as I am writing this, it is getting better.
04-17-07, 10:19 AM
You mean to tell me this is the first time this happens to you? You should come down to the Central Valley during Almond blooming.... LOL
04-17-07, 11:04 AM
I have taken hits for the team quite often... on the tandem and motorcycles. One of my worst tandem experiences was a bee up the nose. :eek:
We were on a group dirt ride, but were on an easy dirt road section, going fast. I am riding along and saw the bee some distance away. I figured he would kind of go around... then zip... right up the nose. He [she] was not happy. My first reaction...was to start punching myself in the nose, in an attempt to kill it. My fellow riders thought I had gone nuts [again?].
I got stung a few times... [and have had some alergic issues in the past] . The trail we were on was bringing up past one of our cities hospitals... so we kept briskly riding, in that direction. I did not seem to be reacting this time, so we contined our ride. :p
Nose is bad, open mouth, bouncing off the back of the throat and
god forbid inhaling is worse. Happened to me with smaller flying
arthropods maybe twice in 7yrs, on singlets. One sting on the arm
by a wasp, those suckers are FAST. Bees are less irritable in general
barring running into the Africanized versions, and since the sting is
generally lethal to the bee, they have to get into 'save the hive' mode
04-17-07, 12:36 PM
A couple of weeks ago, while hammering along Pleasants Valley rode, a friend of my wife approached from behind. Red Rider says, Hon, do you know xxxxx? Just as I opened my mouth to reply, something went WHACK in the corner of my mouth. As I tried to spit out the offending creature, the friend only heard the nasty sounds I was making in reply to her introduction. It turned out to be a bee of course. It hit me on the inside of my lip but the stinger did not stick. Luckily I am not very reactive to bee stings and all it did was swell a little. It helped explain the perceived reply and got me off the hook.
04-17-07, 01:29 PM
I have just gone over to regular pilot for several new tandem stokers and to be honest- I have not noticed a great deal of difference from riding my Solo. Except that the pilot has to communicate more. Why is it that every time I have to relate to the stoker that we are turning left- or coasting or rough bit ahead, The Tandem runs through the swarm of flies- or the stone comes up over the front fender. Don't know if it is Murphy's or s*ds law but I think it is gunning for me.
I think the worst I have had on a Tandem was as stoker though. Both of us down to get the speed up and the pilot yelled Brake. I sat up to put the weight on the saddle and caught a partride- on the chest. The pilot saw it coming and ducked. The partridge flew away so no cheap dinner- We did get 3 in one hit last year and they did taste good.
04-17-07, 05:18 PM
I got the bee down the front of the jersey a couple of years ago. I keep it zipped up higher now on all but the hottest days.
04-17-07, 05:18 PM
Getting zapped by occasional bee has happened to pilot, but not stoker. Guess pilot acts as bee-catcher!
One time stoker yelled "ouch!!!" She had a large cactus needle sticking straight out of her arm . . . and we were not riding anywhere near cacti. We do live in the desert, but this stuff can all get airborne and blow about.
Worse yet, is to get caught in a dust devil (mini dirt tornado). Have to squint eyes 90% shut and hang on and keep mouth shut . . . only lasts a couple second, but the sand really stings any bare skin . . . and if you use a wet lube on your chains . . . yup, they really geyt gritty!
Oh. the joys of tandeming!
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