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Old 08-30-01, 05:47 PM   #1
HardBall
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Strange thing...

On a recent ride I got something in a helmet vent that was either stinging or biting me.

I was on a 20% decline moving pretty fast on what we will call a double track. Kinda of a cross between a fire road and a single track. Had full gloves on fat fingers so getting into the vent to remove the critter was out of the question.

While trying to slow down and not kill myself I used one hand to remove the helmet. Flung the helmet away so I could get the critter off with my only free hand, as I was still trying to slow down and not kill myself especially now that I had no helmet protecting my brain from all those pesky limbs and tree trunks.

My son who was behind me witnessing this scenario without the benefit of knowing why I was acting more like an idiot than I usually do (he said it appeared as though I was slapping myself on the head for no apparent reason) laughed so hard that he just kinda slowed down and fell over with his bike.

Never did find out what kind of a critter it was but I had a pretty sizeable lump from the stings/bites. Fortunately the lump went down overnight.

We all had a laugh from it; well at least everyone else had a laugh. Actually I thought it was kind of funny after the swelling went down.

Now we will have to get helmet vent protectors to go with out helmets, gloves, and other safety equipment. Strange but true. :-)
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Old 08-30-01, 05:59 PM   #2
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On a rare occassion, I have had a bug buzzing around in my helmet. Fortunately, it has never resulted in a bite. I just hope for the best and give the helmet a couple of waps.
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Old 08-30-01, 10:27 PM   #3
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There are so many grasshoppers in this one area I ride that the road is slick with all the smashed ones. They jump up in front of you and sometimes smack you in the face. One of the reasons I always wear Oakley M frames with a clear lens. Can't afford a tinted lens yet.
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Old 08-30-01, 11:23 PM   #4
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I once felt some cramps flying through my legs like buggery on a ride. It worried me a bit as this sort of thing doesn't generally happen to me. I got home and found five leeches inside my shoe. That was a strange one.

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Old 08-31-01, 04:06 AM   #5
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I once felt some cramps flying through my legs like buggery on a ride. It worried me a bit as this sort of thing doesn't generally happen to me. I got home and found five leeches inside my shoe. That was a strange one.

Chris
Leeches, ugh!

I have never experienced leeches up close but I don't like anything that tries to take my blood without my permission. Where did they come from and how did they get in your shoe?

You take the 'most strangest critter episode' title. I stand in awe!
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Old 08-31-01, 04:39 AM   #6
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I got a buzzy thing inside my helmet once, and whipped the helmet off as fast as I could. It flew off before any harm was done.
Ive been stung on the neck by a bee whilst cycling, and it is allI could do to stop safely in traffic.

You can get helmets with mesh over the vents, which seems to keep large insects out.

I also got struck in the eye by a bouncing acorn. I could see the acorn as it dropped from the tree, and headed straight for my glasses. Fortunately no harm done, but I now use plastic lenses.
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Old 08-31-01, 05:38 AM   #7
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Thank goodness I live in Scotland, where the local fauna doesn't include much that's dangerous to humans.

i changed my helmet recently from a Giro with a mesh cover to an new Giro with bigger vents and no mesh.

I've had several buzzy things fly in (including a wasp on a couple of occassions--- not the same wasp), but have only had to whip the helmet off once. I put this down to the fact that my head is becoming more streamlined (less hairy) with each passing year.
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Old 08-31-01, 06:42 AM   #8
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...fact that my head is becoming more streamlined (less hairy) with each passing year.
I am also getting more streamlined as the years tick on. I would shave and get it over with if the wife didn't put up such stiff resistance. She says I'm going bald anyway, that I should enjoy my hair while I still have some. I don't care if I have hair or not; I think SHE wants to enjoy my hair while I still have some.

Didn't know I could get a helmet with vent mesh. I'll have to give them a look.
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Old 08-31-01, 08:21 AM   #9
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I've never had a bee in the helmet but thanks for one more thing to worry about. And I'd almost got rid of the nervous tick.

Chris, that leech story gets me every time. Next time try carrying them in your panniers.
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Old 08-31-01, 09:02 AM   #10
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I've never had a bee in the helmet but thanks for one more thing to worry about. And I'd almost got rid of the nervous tick.

Chris, that leech story gets me every time. Next time try carrying them in your panniers.
Sorry Greg, I'll try to hold my tongue next time. Maybe this should be in the safety forum????

I wouldn't worry too much about it, we can take my son's advice. He told me that I have to learn to ride fast enough to outrun the critters.

Said like a true 15 year old! I can still dog him on the climbs, although he is a monster downhiller. Some call it youth others call it reckless. ;-)
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Old 08-31-01, 11:14 AM   #11
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In regards the design of helmets, I am reminded of what my spouse says of a bicycle helmet: "It is a crown, and you are the king of dorkdom." (Of course, she's a bicyclist too, so she can get away with saying things like that."

It's only since I got heavily involved in bicycling that I appreciate the fact that I wear glasses. For they sure are good at keeping bugs and dust from flying into one's eyes. (I know a lot of racers/road bikers prefer sunglasses, but I prefer my own untinted lenses.)
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Old 08-31-01, 01:00 PM   #12
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Because of a similar episode, and also because a co-worker recently died from a melanoma which started on his scalp, I always use a cycling cap under my helmet. On the really hot days, I may use a lightweight kerchief, instead, but there is always a layer of cloth between me and the great outdoors.
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Old 08-31-01, 03:00 PM   #13
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Because of a similar episode, and also because a co-worker recently died from a melanoma which started on his scalp, I always use a cycling cap under my helmet. On the really hot days, I may use a lightweight kerchief, instead, but there is always a layer of cloth between me and the great outdoors.
It's amazing that without even trying I can always find a new way for a bike to killl me. My wife often helps me remember when I forget. Still love them though; better to burn out than fad away. Never thought of a melanoma on the old noodle. Was always concerned about blunt force trauma. Go figure.

On an more serious note I'm sorry for the loss of your co-worker, was the melanoma confirmed as starting from exposure while riding? Makes me think I should ba a bit more careful, as stated in a previous post I am follicle challenged!
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Old 08-31-01, 06:05 PM   #14
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I have never experienced leeches up close but I don't like anything that tries to take my blood without my permission. Where did they come from and how did they get in your shoe?
I took a 17km walk in the rainforest of Lamington National Park (which included 12 crossings of the Coomera River). I thought I'd got rid of them all before my 50km ride home! Apparently not.

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Old 08-31-01, 07:19 PM   #15
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I took a 17km walk in the rainforest of Lamington National Park (which included 12 crossings of the Coomera River). I thought I'd got rid of them all before my 50km ride home! Apparently not.

Chris
Your picture aside, you really are an animal. Sounds like you had a great adventure. Is that picture really you? ;-)
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Old 09-01-01, 03:02 AM   #16
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Your picture aside, you really are an animal. Sounds like you had a great adventure. Is that picture really you? ;-)
Actually, that picture was an album cover from an Australian rock band called The Screaming Jets from a few years ago (my secret is out...). I'll post some pictures from Lamington when I get around to putting them on the scanner.

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Old 09-03-01, 12:20 PM   #17
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Here in Houston bugs can be a problem...

Once after a rain I was out training when a wasp got caught in my Camelbak. As I reached over my head with my left hand, I guess my right hand pulled slightly back on the handlebar. Next thing I know -- the front tire hits the curb and launches me over the front -- I landed on my head and shoulder in a mud puddle. I'd love to have that on video.

The next time I hit a bug it caught me in the chin strap and was buzzing something fierce. I was ready though, and unlatched my helmet strap and tossed it into the grass. -- no crash, no sting, no blood or bruises.... I just looked stupid!

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Old 09-03-01, 02:42 PM   #18
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I took a 17km walk in the rainforest of Lamington National Park (which included 12 crossings of the Coomera River). I thought I'd got rid of them all before my 50km ride home! Apparently not.

Chris
Chris,

Here in America (unless I am mistaken) we don't have a clue about leeches.

I remember as a high school student on a field trip in an Australian rainforest (it was amazing!) how the little buggers lived under the leaves of green plants. They would attach themselves to your shoes or whatever they latched on to.

(All you had to do was pull them off. They weren't the big kind like in the movies shot on location in Africa! )
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Old 09-03-01, 03:26 PM   #19
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I think I pulled off 20 or 30 that day. There were five that I just missed, that's all.

Chris
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Old 09-03-01, 03:46 PM   #20
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Actually, my recently deceased co-worker was an avid golfer,, and the melanoma started on the part of his hair, near the top. He never wore caps, and had already survived pancreatic cancer once.
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