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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    flies and gnats can fly at 7 mph?

    I hate climbing on a really steep grade. Going from like 7-10 mph. Does it not seem gnats and flies can keep up with you. Can they really fly that fast. Just what you need atop the sweat. Don't think bug spray is good for your skin.

  2. #2
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    During May-June the Black Flies are out in full force. Speeds upwards of 16-18 mph doesn't seem to shake them, they're flying circles round me.

    Nothing works for repellents, I've learned to:

    -Alter my routes to avoid the more swampy and heavily wooded regions they seem attracted to
    -Keep my mouth closed
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  3. #3
    * vpiuva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobber
    During May-June the Black Flies are out in full force. Speeds upwards of 16-18 mph doesn't seem to shake them, they're flying circles round me.

    Nothing works for repellents,
    I've learned to:

    -Alter my routes to avoid the more swampy and heavily wooded regions they seem attracted to
    -Keep my mouth closed
    Why? Easier than a Clif bar - tastes better than a gel. Calorie intake problem solved.

  4. #4
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Also, you are creating a draft that they can fly in. Imagine a bicyclist riding directly behind a bus traveling at 40 mph. The bus pulls the bicyclist along. We do basically the same thing with the gnats and stuff.

  5. #5
    cycling n00b Black Shuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Also, you are creating a draft that they can fly in. Imagine a bicyclist riding directly behind a bus traveling at 40 mph. The bus pulls the bicyclist along. We do basically the same thing with the gnats and stuff.

    I learned that horseflies are really good at this last summer while touring. Looking on the grund I could actally make out a small string of tiny shadows trailing mine, and upon further inspection saw 6-7 of the little buggers lined up to strike me as soon as I stopped.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Shuck
    I learned that horseflies are really good at this last summer while touring. Looking on the grund I could actally make out a small string of tiny shadows trailing mine, and upon further inspection saw 6-7 of the little buggers lined up to strike me as soon as I stopped.
    Well , they call our bikes 'iron horses,' they are certainly on a suicede mission; if they were not so fast. They just don't understand a human being has a built in fly swatter. But, I hate it, when I am climbing a really steep grade and covered with gnats.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Manitoba mosquitoes top out at about 15 km/h. Alberta ones are a bit faster, probably around 18 km/h.

    Horseflies can hit about 34 km/h.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Shuck
    I learned that horseflies are really good at this last summer while touring. Looking on the grund I could actally make out a small string of tiny shadows trailing mine, and upon further inspection saw 6-7 of the little buggers lined up to strike me as soon as I stopped.
    I was on a ride in Manitoba a few years ago, and I had literally hundreds of horseflies drafting me. They'd come around front and sit on my handlebar bag for a while, then join the crowd behind me again. The people riding with me were riding about 50 meters behind me because these things streamed out that far back.

    We all stopped for a little break, and they made me sit away from the group because the horseflies just swarmed me. When I got going again, sure enough, my entire entourage came with me. I hit 34 km/h on one downhill and lost them all, but as soon as I slowed down again, they were back.

    Horseflies follow me quite frequently, but oddly, I've only ever been bit once.

  9. #9
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Sounds like you may need to add a badminton racket to your equipment list Machka.

  10. #10
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Also, you are creating a draft that they can fly in. Imagine a bicyclist riding directly behind a bus traveling at 40 mph. The bus pulls the bicyclist along. We do basically the same thing with the gnats and stuff.
    Well that explains why they were chewing away at the small of my back -right where my shirt rides up and all the sweat runs down into my chamois

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Manitoba mosquitoes top out at about 15 km/h. Alberta ones are a bit faster, probably around 18 km/h.

    Horseflies can hit about 34 km/h.
    Impressive . So we can't escape.

  12. #12
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Goggles! I prefer regular sunglasses, but keep a pair of goggles with swappable lenses in my kit for the more biblical clouds of critters.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  13. #13
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Also, you are creating a draft that they can fly in. Imagine a bicyclist riding directly behind a bus traveling at 40 mph. The bus pulls the bicyclist along. We do basically the same thing with the gnats and stuff.
    That's what I thought at first. But the little bastards seem to able to orbit about my head, I've had them landing on my hands and arms, etc.

    The cure is almost as bad. Dragon Flies. Swarms of them. Smacking into your face, bouncing off bike.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Flying insects, the reason I never am without eyewear, while on the bike. They taste bad enough in the mouth let alone, have them flying into your eyes.

  15. #15
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I was on a ride in Manitoba a few years ago, and I had literally hundreds of horseflies drafting me.
    Had you showered that week?

  16. #16
    Fail better next time
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Also, you are creating a draft that they can fly in. Imagine a bicyclist riding directly behind a bus traveling at 40 mph. The bus pulls the bicyclist along. We do basically the same thing with the gnats and stuff.
    ya know, I was working on this theory myself, but found I was being constantly humiliated by flies flying in front of my face - sometimes even flying ahead of me and then back into me. I've started preliminary work on a theory of the "pre-stream" buffer of air that precedes moving objects and allows flies to fly faster then I can ride hills, but it's early days still.

  17. #17
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    I understand that a lot of insects are attracted by Carbon Dioxide. Maybe if you don't exhale, the insects won't be a problem!

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