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Old 05-03-16, 11:10 AM   #1
jacobsever
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Denver area trails + bugs = ???

Hey guys.

So I live in Aurora, up near where I-70 and I-225 connect, and I work down in Parker, off E-470.

I'd love to commute to work, because I love riding my bike. It's a bit of a stretch (18-20 miles each way), but last night I rode my bike home. I rode the Cherry Creek Trail that goes through Cherry Creek State Park:



And then transfer over to the Cherry Creek Spillway Trail, Toll Gate Creek Trail, and High Line Canal Trail.



The ride itself isn't bad. The trails are in good condition. Not too many people on them. But one big issue...BUGS. Just swarms of gnats, or mosquitos, or some type of small bugs. I think I ate enough to constitute dinner. I probably ran through/hit 1,000+ of them. Just sticking to my arms. Can't imagine how many got stuck in my large beard. Running into my eyes.

I felt like I rode a majority of the time looking straight down, worrying I was going to run into someone in front of me, or a pothole, because I simply couldn't keep my head up and looking ahead of me.

Besides riding like this in the summer heat (google image, not me):



what in the world do you people do to avoid this? Do you just deal with it? I'm not a fan of bugs in general, so having hundreds of them hit me while I ride isn't really that fun. I prefer riding roads to trails, but there really isn't a way to ride to work on roads. Parker is the one road I drive to get there, and I'd never ride my bike on Parker.
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Old 05-03-16, 11:36 AM   #2
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If you can find a way to have a rag with a strong scent of apple cider vinegar on it, the bugs, inc ticks, fleas and mosquito's will leave you alone.
You can tie it around your bars or top tube for the best effect against those pesky flying bugs!
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Old 05-10-16, 10:40 AM   #3
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If you can find a way to have a rag with a strong scent of apple cider vinegar on it, the bugs, inc ticks, fleas and mosquito's will leave you alone.
You can tie it around your bars or top tube for the best effect against those pesky flying bugs!
It's doubtful if vinegar works to keep any of those insects away from people. If it did, we wouldn't need stuff like DEET. But jacobsever's problem isn't biting insects to begin with.

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Originally Posted by jacobsever View Post
Hey guys.

So I live in Aurora, up near where I-70 and I-225 connect, and I work down in Parker, off E-470.

I'd love to commute to work, because I love riding my bike. It's a bit of a stretch (18-20 miles each way), but last night I rode my bike home. I rode the Cherry Creek Trail that goes through Cherry Creek State Park:



And then transfer over to the Cherry Creek Spillway Trail, Toll Gate Creek Trail, and High Line Canal Trail.



The ride itself isn't bad. The trails are in good condition. Not too many people on them. But one big issue...BUGS. Just swarms of gnats, or mosquitos, or some type of small bugs. I think I ate enough to constitute dinner. I probably ran through/hit 1,000+ of them. Just sticking to my arms. Can't imagine how many got stuck in my large beard. Running into my eyes.

I felt like I rode a majority of the time looking straight down, worrying I was going to run into someone in front of me, or a pothole, because I simply couldn't keep my head up and looking ahead of me.

Besides riding like this in the summer heat (google image, not me):



what in the world do you people do to avoid this? Do you just deal with it? I'm not a fan of bugs in general, so having hundreds of them hit me while I ride isn't really that fun. I prefer riding roads to trails, but there really isn't a way to ride to work on roads. Parker is the one road I drive to get there, and I'd never ride my bike on Parker.
You are riding through clouds of midges (aka chironomids), jacobserver. Specifically, you are riding through clouds of mating midges or rather the "singles bar" of midges. The clouds that you can barely see and ride through regularly when you are close to a body of water are actually highly structured mating dances. The males move up and down in the air in specific patterns to attract females...the bug equivalent of a pickup line. When you plow through the cloud, you are ruining the chances of those poor bugs, which only lives for a few hours or days, from getting lucky...try getting that image out of your head

The insects are distantly related to mosquitoes but they don't require a blood meal for egg production. They are very common in healthy waterways and an important source of food for fish. They can hatch just about any time of year but they are more prevalent in the early spring. Apparently, you can influence the way the cloud moves if you happen to hum the right note because the bugs respond to sounds of other insects in the cloud.

Repellents don't work against them because you are riding through the middle of them and disturbing them. They aren't actively seeking you. Unfortunately there isn't a lot you can do to avoid them other than not ride near water. They are going to be more common in the afternoon then the morning, however. Another thing to consider is that they usually hatch at the same time...kind of important when you don't have a very long lifespan and you need to get lucky quickly...so if you run into one cloud, there are going to be more. I try to ride with my mouth closed when I hit a cloud of them and try to ride with my head down. They get into your hair that way...which is still creepy...but at least you don't suck the little buggers down your gullet!

Alternatively, you could just open wide and gulp them down. This could be the next evolutionary step for bicyclists. We could become great herds of bicyclist with baleen that filter our food out of the air as we roam the world. Whales exist on krill after all
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Old 05-10-16, 03:37 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=cyccommute;18755788]It's doubtful if vinegar works to keep any of those insects away from people. If it did, we wouldn't need stuff like DEET. But jacobsever's problem isn't biting insects to begin with. [Quote]

Oh my, where to begin. If you spent half the time to do the slightest of research, you would see how ignorant your statement is. Here is a link, although not the best to support my statement:
More Homemade Insect Repellent Ideas

Oh and also, I never said bugs were biting him, relax, go back and read.... then research before you post. I've read a few of your post, all of them long and disagreeing with someone about something that you claim to be an expert on, which obviously must be everything..... I mean, really?

Post where I said the bugs were biting him and post a link to ANY article that says apple cider vinegar (or most any vinegar) is not a natural deterrent for bugs!
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Old 05-11-16, 10:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post

Oh my, where to begin. If you spent half the time to do the slightest of research, you would see how ignorant your statement is. Here is a link, although not the best to support my statement:
More Homemade Insect Repellent Ideas
That's not "research". That's Internet rumors which fit into the same category as "wive's tales". There's not much meat on that bone. Our lives are awash in vinegar...actually acetic acid. It's used in all kinds of foods. Pickles, salad dressings, and flavoring for various other foods come from acetic acid. If you taste sour in your meal, particularly if it is very sharp, it's likely from acetic acid (it could be citric acid as well but acetic acid is much more common). But none of that acetic acid makes it out of the stomach to the skin. If it did, you'd be in real trouble because blood isn't acidic and if it is, something is seriously wrong with you.

Again, if vinegar or any of the other "homemade" substances worked they would have worked a long time ago and no one would have needed to develop DEET.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMXer View Post
Oh and also, I never said bugs were biting him, relax, go back and read.... then research before you post. I've read a few of your post, all of them long and disagreeing with someone about something that you claim to be an expert on, which obviously must be everything..... I mean, really?
Y simply don't under the issue. jacobserver is riding through clouds of the insects. They aren't coming towards him. He is riding towards them. Any repellent he would care to use would be following him in his wake, not leading him where it could be effective. Additionally, the bugs aren't attracted to jacobsever in any way so a repellent isn't going...well...repel any of them. Now he could be slathering on pheromones to attract midges but I'm not aware of any commercial products that add midge pheromones. What would be the point?

As for being an "expert", I am in some areas and I'm just knowledgeable in others. I also know how to use Google to fill in the gaps. For example:

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...post a link to ANY article that says apple cider vinegar (or most any vinegar) is not a natural deterrent for bugs!
Ask and you will receive. This is not some wild Internet claim but a peer reviewed paper where the methods for testing and the results are clearly laid out. You, or anyone, can repeat them. If you read the article, you will see that the mixture containing vinegar was only slightly better than nothing. Frankly, I'm surprised that Avon Skin So Soft did so well. But I'm not surprised at all about the DEET at all.
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Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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