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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-26-08, 12:03 PM   #1
1Rider
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Commuting with bugs

I recently started commuting to work... and I love it.

Recently on my ride home (10miles) I looked to my left and saw what looked like pollen coming off about 50 yards of bushes along a wall on the other side of the rode. Well as it turned out it wasn't pollen, it was a huge swarm of bees and I was heading right through it. Talk about exciting Luckily I wasn't stung but it sure feels interesting to get hit about 20 times by bees on my face and body.. Just thought I would share that story. Has this happened to anyone else or am I the only lucky one
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Old 02-26-08, 12:14 PM   #2
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I've had a bee fly up my nose... I think i have a vague idea what birthing pains must feel like.

Th eonly bugs that bother me are the swarms of fleas. I just feel like I'm still covered in them long after i've past.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:18 PM   #3
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Down here on the Gulf Coast, it's gnat season. Those little buggers hurt when they bite you.
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Old 02-26-08, 12:19 PM   #4
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in da UP of Michigan bug season hits hard for about a month and a half.

Black flies, sand flies, no seeums, horse flies, skeeters...the list could go on for pages. You can't go outside and not get bitten. riding your bike is actually the only salvation!
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Old 02-26-08, 12:22 PM   #5
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I guess here in Socal you just don't see them that often
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Old 02-26-08, 12:33 PM   #6
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I have also had a bee fly up my nose....and sting me
My eyes watered for the next 2 hours.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:15 PM   #7
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Got a gnat in my eye once. That's when I started wearing safety glasses.

Oh, and a visor on your helmet can help when heading into a swarm of flies, bees or gnats. Just tilt your head down a bit and they will hit the visor instead of your face.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:45 PM   #8
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We won't see any bugs here for another month or two (other than the ladybugs hibernating in the corner of the house, and the spiders that use them as a pantry).

However, pretty much every year I have a wasp fly down my shirt and sting me. I've almost gotten used to it. They don't bother me that much anymore, I just reach down and squish them in the jersey, then get to the side of the road and shake them out.

I don't squish them unless they've already started stinging, because I've found that if I just stop and open up the jersey a bit, sometimes they'll just climb out and fly off. But if I try to preemptively squish them, they'll sting every time. They really don't like the sweat though, so about half the time they sting me anyway.

Honestly I've gotten to where I'd almost rather catch a wasp sting than a mosquito bite. The wasp stings just look like a red quarter-sized spot for a couple of hours, and sting when the sweat washes into the wound. Mosquito bites can itch like crazy for days, if you get a particularly nasty bite. It seems like some mosquitoes have really itch anticoagulant or something; usually they stop itching in 30 minutes or so, but sometimes they keep itching for a long time.
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Old 02-26-08, 01:46 PM   #9
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A friend hit a bee while riding his motorcycle once. He was going 60, the bee was going 5 in the same direction. Instant, deep sting right in the face. His head looked like a big red basketball.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:25 PM   #10
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Anyone ever swallowed a fly? An experience that you only ever do once lol.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:30 PM   #11
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Mosquito bites can itch like crazy for days, if you get a particularly nasty bite. It seems like some mosquitoes have really itch anticoagulant or something; usually they stop itching in 30 minutes or so, but sometimes they keep itching for a long time.
I've found Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment to do wonders for bug bites (including fire ant stings). You could also try Burt's Bees Bug Bite Relief.
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Old 02-26-08, 02:37 PM   #12
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always wear eye protection & use your visor wisely, as someone said. Otherwise, deal with the challenge with joy!

I had a bee go down the front of my shirt and sting my side. The road rash from the panicked crash hurt much more than the sting. Ouch. 13 at the time... still remember it VERY well

Cheers
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Old 02-26-08, 03:13 PM   #13
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I had a bee go down the front of my shirt and sting my side. The road rash from the panicked crash hurt much more than the sting. Ouch. 13 at the time... still remember it VERY well

Cheers
+1 about 3-4 times when I used to ride alot. I finally learned to keep my jersey zipped up! Somehow never crashed.


I am amazed you made it through without being stung! Congrats on that!

No bug worries here yet. Was 15°F this morning.
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Old 02-26-08, 03:24 PM   #14
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No worries here either. Needs to warm up a bit.
When it does.... since my commute has a fair distance along a river it will mainly be gnats.
I wear glasses and get used to being covered in them.
Fortunately, with no leg hair (roadie thing) they don't bother my legs. Unfortunately, the same is not true for my arms. Guess I could shave them as well. bleh...
My head wrap keeps them off of my head. I used to show up at work and run into the bathroom to clean off my scalp. ew
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Old 02-26-08, 07:23 PM   #15
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Anyone ever swallowed a fly? An experience that you only ever do once lol.
Yes.

Twice.

Yuck.
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Old 02-26-08, 07:44 PM   #16
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Anyone ever swallowed a fly? An experience that you only ever do once lol.
Of course. But the statement "you only ever do once" sort of implies that you had some choice in the matter. Did you swallow a fly on purpose? If not, how does doing it the first time immunize you against doing it again?
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Old 02-26-08, 07:46 PM   #17
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Of course. But the statement "you only ever do once" sort of implies that you had some choice in the matter. Did you swallow a fly on purpose? If not, how does doing it the first time immunize you against doing it again?
Perhaps the implication is that you learn to keep your mouth shut? I certainly am mindful of the possibility of fly swallowing after my sad experience.
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Old 02-26-08, 08:12 PM   #18
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I was on a Brevet that had clouds of small butterflies crossing the road as we went up the north side of San Gorgonio Pass.
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Old 02-26-08, 08:40 PM   #19
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Oh, this is great! I have just read the thread of bee sting nostril of death. Having not had a bee in the nose and having read this thread, I have consigned my proboscis to rhino hive asault in the very near future.

I was recently stung by a wasp in the middle of my back and now, my left foot has swollen up.

You should start to perceive the level of luck to which I float. Tis going to be a great bug year here in South Florida. No winter, only endless summer with some extremely long nights.
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Old 02-27-08, 12:27 PM   #20
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Geez, all these horror stories of bee stings up your nose are making me wonder if I should quit using my cycling helmet and switch to a full-face motorcycle helmet.
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Old 02-28-08, 09:24 AM   #21
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I've found Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment to do wonders for bug bites (including fire ant stings). You could also try Burt's Bees Bug Bite Relief.
OK, but I've found that just leaving them alone works great too. Wasps, bees and spider bites go away in a few hours. Mosquitoes, usually 12 to 24. Occasionally I'll get a nuclear mosquito and it'll last a couple of days. I haven't used anything beyond chapstik, sunscreen and the occasional ibuprofen, ever. There's just no real need; you can just tune things like itching and pain out (after making sure there's no actual danger, of course).
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Old 02-28-08, 10:56 AM   #22
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Last summer I got a bee stuck in my helmet. Little s.o.b. stung me twice before I could stop and get my helmet off. (It's easy for helmet bees to sting you if you have no hair. I've started wearing a cap under my helmet during bee season!)
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Old 02-28-08, 11:24 AM   #23
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Had a bee fly into my mouth while riding. I tried to spit it out, luckily I got it to my inside lower lip before it stung me. If I had swallowed it , it may have got interesting.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:39 PM   #24
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when you ride in the Everglades National Park during mosquito season, they suggest you maintain "mosquito escape velocity" which they maintain is 8-10 mph....
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Old 02-28-08, 03:22 PM   #25
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Near the end of one of my daily commutes a couple of years ago, I was breathing through my mouth and sucked a large fly right down into my lungs. I coughed so much that I puked. Twice. I must have been quite a sight standing at the side of the road, coughing and puking with a look of panic on my face, because one of my co-workers who was driving by pulled over to help me out!

I also regularly inhale clouds of little gnats and mosquitoes when biking through the local parks at dusk. On bad days I wear a bandana.
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