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Thread: Bugs

  1. #1
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    Bugs

    I'm riding about 100 miles/week for fun and conditioning in rural western Oregon. About every ride has a memorable bug hit. The other day was something big with long legs- wasp or grasshopper- that hit my Adam's apple then grappled with my throat for a split second, no doubt looking for my jugular so as to plunge in the Stinger of Doom, before blowing away in the wind.

    In an effort to appease my wife, who has no interest in seeing me in spandex, I'm wearing mountain-bike type bike shorts, basically a thin loose shell over tight bike shorts. Last week a hornet got between the loose shell and my leg with predictable outcome. Stung me right on the hammie. I still had 15 miles left including a big climb and that was very odd with a sore/numb hamstring.

    My wife just got back from the maiden voyage on her vintage Trek 620 that I've been rebuilding (yay!) and had a paper wasp stick in her hair then crawl out onto her sunglasses.....

    None of my bug hits are as memorable as some I had back in my motorcycle days. A cicada at 60 mph HURTS. Desert bees inside the helmet at 45 mph on a ditch bank, also not so good. So far, nothing on my bicycle has hurt per se; just been a bit... alarming.

    I bet you grizzled roadies have some great bug stories!

  2. #2
    Rubber side down Clipped_in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
    ...Plunge in the Stinger of Doom, before blowing away in the wind.
    Your wife said this about you? That's harsh, but what do you expect with a handle like Long Tom.



    Flying beetles are the worst around here. At 40mph and a direct impact they really hurt!
    ...Just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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    bugs are the reason I started shaving personally. I wasn't going to do it until the bibittes started latching on and coming for the ride in my hairy legs! Not a bug, but I had a bird try to steal my helmet off my head... while riding!

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    Senior Member seymour1910's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roby View Post
    bugs are the reason I started shaving personally. I wasn't going to do it until the bibittes started latching on and coming for the ride in my hairy legs! Not a bug, but I had a bird try to steal my helmet off my head... while riding!
    picturing that image in my head was the best laugh of the day so far. The price we pay for these helmets I bet you would have fought said bird to the end.

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    So far the worst thing I ever had was a dragonfly smack me in the face. I think we were equally surprised. Had a wasp go down the vent of my helmet and start repeatedly stinging me once. Now I buy helmets that have mesh over the front vents. Very handy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
    Your wife said this about you? That's harsh, but what do you expect with a handle like Long Tom.
    Well, "Statistically Average Tom" just didn't have the same ring to it!

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    Medicinal Cyclist Daytrip's Avatar
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    I have to constantly remind myself to close my mouth, 'cause I damn sure don't want to wind up with a stinger in my throat or mouth.
    Let your freak flag fly.

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    Luckily in Oregon bugs are not that bad compared to many other parts of nation. I do not like the bugs in the helmet next to my bald head!

    QUACK!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daytrip View Post
    I have to constantly remind myself to close my mouth, 'cause I damn sure don't want to wind up with a stinger in my throat or mouth.
    I got a wasp in my mount a couple of years ago and got stung on the tongue before I got it out. That hurt and my tongue was pretty swollen by the time I finished my ride.

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    I got stung top center of my quad going about 45mph on a descent. Had about another hour to go and every single pedal stroke hurt.

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    Bee sting INSIDE mouth. Lesson: breathe through nose during bug season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgrosser View Post
    Bee sting INSIDE mouth. Lesson: breathe through nose during bug season.
    Agreed. Unfortunately, around here, bug season and allergy season overlap.

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    Senior Member camelopardalis's Avatar
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    Stop looking at just the negatives. Don't you know that Tour de France riders get 50% of their daily protein requirements by simply opening their mouths while riding?

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    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideroftheStorm View Post
    So far the worst thing I ever had was a dragonfly smack me in the face. I think we were equally surprised. Had a wasp go down the vent of my helmet and start repeatedly stinging me once. Now I buy helmets that have mesh over the front vents. Very handy.
    I put a liner in my helmet. Partly it soaks up sweat, partly it keeps the sun off my balding head, and partly it's an extra layer of protection in case any insects get caught in my helmet. Once I was out on the MTB and came home with a stick sticking out of my helmet, and because of the liner I hadn't noticed it was there.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

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    Well aside from the variety of bugs that I'm force fed on every other ride or so, I have one bug story that nearly killed me.

    I've been stung countless times since I was a kid and therefore had no real fear of bees, but on a ride last August I was stung on my face and immediately had an unusual reaction. It hurt more than normal, my whole face itched right away, and I felt my lips swell up big time. By the time I got to the local general store, my tongue was so swollen I couldn't speak clearly (didn't realize until my first attempt), and I could feel my throat rapidly closing up. Luckily the clerk, with zero hesitation called 911, and within ten minutes I was being rushed to the ER full of various IV's.

    So now I don't go out without my epi-pen and a couple doses of Benedryl on board, and can never take any sting for granted anymore. It was a scary day.

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    My Dragonfly Story ...

    I had quite an encounter with a dragonfly on a race a number of years ago .......

    The route descended into a ravine, climbed out of the ravine, turned left ... and then the cyclists pulled a U-turn and descended back into the ravine, climbed out of the ravine, pulled a U-turn ... etc. etc. for several loops.

    I descended into the ravine and when I was climbing out, I noticed that there was a camera crew set up near the top of the hill filming the Cat 2 cyclists who were now about to descend the hill. I was laughing because they were all zipping up and trying to look all cool.

    I got to the top of the hill, turned left, rode along a ways, then pulled the U-turn and started back toward the ravine.

    All of a sudden a MASSIVE dragonfly flew into my mouth!!!!

    I could feel it buzzing its wings, and I desperately tried to spit or gag it out .... but it was lodged in there!!

    Just then I noticed that I was getting closer and closer to the camera crew. I didn't want the image of me gagging and spitting a dragonfly out of my mouth to be captured, but I didn't know what to do ... this thing would not back out of my mouth!

    As I passed the camera crew, I closed my mouth and cycled by looking as calm, cool, and collected as a person can look with a massive dragonfly buzzing in her mouth.

    As soon as I was by the camera, I reached into my mouth, and dragged this thing out ........ and then went through almost convulsive shudders at the thought of what had just happened!!

    I DNF'd that race.

    I also have this fear of dragonflies.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    My Rove Beetle Story ...

    One evening a couple years ago, Rowan and I went for a ride and I inhaled a bug of some sort. It wasn't particularly large and I didn't think much of it ... I just figured I'd hack it out and be fine.

    But I ended up hacking and hacking and hacking, and my sinuses let loose like when I have an allergic reaction to something ... and I tried to drink, and I had to stop to blow my nose and cough up mouthfuls of stuff and wipe my eyes.

    Later that evening, it felt like I had a large grape lodged in my throat, and my throat, the back of my tongue, and back of my mouth went numb like if I had a dental freezing. The next day, I wasn't feeling particularly well, and was still experiencing the same symptoms except that my voice also went all deep and raspy. I was actually starting to get a bit worried.

    The following day, the "grape" had shrunk down to a "pea" and my throat, tongue and mouth went into pins and needles like when dental freezing starts to come out.

    For the next 2 weeks I was a congested and had a sore, scratchy throat, with a raspy voice.

    I didn't know what kind of bug it was ... but I'm guessing it let loose with some sort of protective poison in a last-ditch attempt to avoid being eaten.

    However, I did some research I think I found type of bug I swallowed ... based on what I saw just before I swallowed it and it's size, and my reaction to it.

    A rove beetle.

    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/parks/rovebeetles.htm

    "The body fluids in the rove beetle are a poisonous animal contact toxin. Contact with the beetle can cause a severe skin reaction.

    If you crush the beetle the toxin is released and absorbed by your skin. The beetle can be crushed if you swat it like a fly or mosquito, or if it collides with you at speed (such as bare skin on a motorbike).

    The toxin causes reddening of the skin, and a 'burning' sensation. This is followed by painful irritation and itching, with extensive pustules and blistering of the skin after four days. The affected areas remain irritated, blistered and sore for 10 days. Toxin on the hands, or near body joints, can spread the toxin to other areas of the body and to others."

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    And I was hit in the cheek by one of those immense June beetles in the pre-dawn hours of a 400K randonnee ... nearly knocked me off my bicycle.



    Those three incidents (dragonfly, rove beetle, and June beetle) are, of course, in addition to the thousands of mosquitoes and other small insects I've ingested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
    In an effort to appease my wife, who has no interest in seeing me in spandex, I'm wearing mountain-bike type bike shorts, basically a thin loose shell over tight bike shorts. Last week a hornet got between the loose shell and my leg with predictable outcome. Stung me right on the hammie. I still had 15 miles left including a big climb and that was very odd with a sore/numb hamstring.

    My wife just got back from the maiden voyage on her vintage Trek 620 that I've been rebuilding (yay!) and had a paper wasp stick in her hair then crawl out onto her sunglasses.....
    Tell her to HTFU and let you wear spandex

    My story comes from when I was descending at 30 mph and a bee got stuck between my sunglasses and my eyebrow which are notoriously Vulcan like. Stung me right below the eyebrow and the area got swollen like crazy. Had to do a hard climb with one eye of vision and the other hurting like a mofo and streaming tears.

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    Senior Member dralways's Avatar
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    My only issue is due to my lack of glasses and abundance of cheapness. I digest random small insects through my eyelids on a monthly basis!

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    Well, the OP reporting in here. Me and my riding bud did a fairly brutal 28 miles this evening... staying on topic, I got hit right on the kisser by something pretty damn big. It tasted like a grasshopper. I'm a little disturbed that I even KNOW that.

    Also took two very small bugs into my lungs. It's a mystery to me what happens next in there. Is it like a Venus Fly Trap? Do I just.... digest them?!

    My buddy also flatted at about 20 mph right in front of, and I kid you not, a hillbilly hoedown. Now, I'm kind of of hippie/redneck myself after 20+ years in the country, so I ain't judging, other that to say these was some good ol' Oregon hillbillies doing what they do. Only thing missing was gunfire. Maybe that came later.

    So I French-kissed a grasshopper, am digesting a couple LGB's (little generic bugs) in my lungs, and got to observe hillbillies in their natural habitat. And climbed like wheezy old goat.

    This is why we ride, people.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justkeepedaling View Post
    Tell her to HTFU and let you wear spandex
    SRSLY. Spandex is a big improvement over naked, but perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions in assuming she ever sees you naked.

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    I have to EARN the spandex, yo!



    She'd look great in spandex bike shorts.... mmmmmm.... me, not so much.



    Back to bugs.... I'll be riding this evening, out here in the sticks, and it's my buddy's turn to pick the route. He seems to gravitate towards fast flats, about 30 miles worth. I'm putting the over/under for adrenaline-inducing large bug strikes in the neck/head region at "2".

  24. #24
    An un-oiled squeaky wheel kaisersling's Avatar
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    Back when I had my motorcycle, I took a ride on a nice autumn day. The colorful leaves are beautiful as they gently fall from their trees.........until they thwack you on your neck a 60mph. It felt like getting hit with a metal wire across your adams apple.
    "Gravity is a harsh mistress."

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    Senior Member subwoofer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long Tom View Post
    In an effort to appease my wife, who has no interest in seeing me in spandex, I'm wearing mountain-bike type bike shorts, basically a thin loose shell over tight bike shorts.
    You know of course that Spandex is a privilege, not a right

    Quote Originally Posted by camelopardalis View Post
    Stop looking at just the negatives. Don't you know that Tour de France riders get 50% of their daily protein requirements by simply opening their mouths while riding?


    My most memorable hits do come from motorcycling days. In the UK there are some mother-of-all bumble bees which are like being hit by a stone. Even through a bike jacket they seriously hurt, and a neck hit draws blood.

    It seems always just when you need a deep breath in, something decides to fly straight into your mouth!

    Helmets should come with mesh as a standard safety requirement, as losing control due to a bee or wasp getting into your helmet is not good.

    The worst helmet related incident I had was after a stop off (and the helmet being put on the ground) a few minutes after getting going, a good sized spider started abseiling down the inside between my eyes and the visor. there was nowhere to stop, so I had to brave several minutes of this before being able to stop and let it out.

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