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Cicadas

Old 04-28-21, 03:26 AM
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bikehoco
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Cicadas

For those who rode 17 years ago on the US east coast, how much of an annoyance will the cicadas be? There will be millions per square mile of these large insects. Although they donít bite or sting, I imagine getting hit in the face could be unsettling and lead to accidents.
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Old 04-28-21, 04:16 AM
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I get nailed occasionally by one of them loudmouths when riding in louisiana.
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Old 04-28-21, 04:24 AM
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I don't remember much of a problem biking when they last hit us here in MD in 2014. They were mostly a noise issue and then a crunchy shell on the road issue towards the end - seemed to mostly be higher up in the air. Hiking along the Applachian Trail and other trails around here, the noise was deafening - until one day it was like a switch was thrown and it turned eerily quiet!
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Old 04-28-21, 04:50 AM
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Is that 17-year cycle for cicadas really a thing?
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Old 04-28-21, 05:09 AM
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Originally Posted by fredlord View Post
Is that 17-year cycle for cicadas really a thing?
Yes, but understand that they are around every summer. This brood happens to be extremely large.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brood_X
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Old 04-28-21, 05:14 AM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post
I don't remember much of a problem biking when they last hit us here in MD in 2014. They were mostly a noise issue and then a crunchy shell on the road issue towards the end - seemed to mostly be higher up in the air. Hiking along the Applachian Trail and other trails around here, the noise was deafening - until one day it was like a switch was thrown and it turned eerily quiet!
They tend to hang out in trees. I was on a long ride in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties 17 years ago. At one point I thought I was hearing an ambulance. Turned out to be cicadas.
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Old 04-28-21, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fredlord View Post
Is that 17-year cycle for cicadas really a thing?
Around here, the Brood X year is to other years as the roar of a leaf blower is to the buzzing of a bee.
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Old 04-28-21, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
They tend to hang out in trees. I was on a long ride in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties 17 years ago. At one point I thought I was hearing an ambulance. Turned out to be cicadas.
Ha, I thought I was hearing a house alarm.

I had zero encounters, as indyfabz says, they're in the trees, not flying around like a cloud of locusts. You may see one flying around very occasionally, but it isn't common. You're much more likely to hit a bee than a cicada.
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Old 04-28-21, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by fredlord View Post
Is that 17-year cycle for cicadas really a thing?
Yes, and other cycles which are all prime numbers! Apparently the cycles keep the predator population from building up and wiping them out.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:16 AM
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I agree; once they're fully matured after "hatching", they are most active up higher in trees.

There will always be some flying closer to ground lever but they aren't super fast fliers; kind of clumsy really. Sure, you could hit one while on your bike but whether it hurts or not probably depends on how fast you are going. You guys do all wear shades right? I wouldn't want to get hit in the eyeball by one.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:21 AM
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Like real estate -- location, location, location. Riding through woods it can be (figuratively) deafening; half a mile later riding through fields it's background noise.

Cicadas are clumsy, slow fliers, but their shells aren't the hardest. I hit one on my chest, got my attention but I've been hit by worse. Now if you feel something on your sleeve, look down, and see this weird looking thing crawling on you...
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Old 04-28-21, 07:29 AM
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Look on the bright side. They are free food, especially for you protein freaks. Lot's of recipes on line. E.g.:

Ready to eat your way through the coming cicada explosion? How-to and recipes - pennlive.com

The Pasta a la Cicada sounds interesting.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:43 AM
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They fly, but they don't really like to. You're more likely to run one over than get hit by one in the air.
Unless you ride at highway speeds, it's a non-issue.
What's most likely to happen is that one will try to land on you while you're stopped, and get stuck to your shirt. They're dumb like that.
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Old 04-28-21, 07:59 AM
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There was a good explanation of what to expect on the east coast of the US on the PBS Newshour last night. The segment is 6.45 minutes long and you can replay it here: https://www.pbs.org/video/they-re-baack-1619552955/, While the normal cycle is 17 years it seems to be getting shorter so that there is also a 14 year cycle now for some of the bugs, One more "benefit" of the changing climate. It's pretty impressive to see a picture of the ground completely covered by bugs at the height of the invasion.
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Old 04-28-21, 08:02 AM
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The cicadas down here don't seem to swarm. They mostly cling to the trees and make their noise using their wings to rub their bodies. Probably renders the wings useless for flying pretty quick.

I don't remember ever hitting one while cycling. Dragon flies will continue to be the largest annoyance I encounter on rides. We have really big dragon flies here and they taste terrible.

We get our next cicada emergence in 2024. It's the sort of sound that leaves one a little awestruck with nature. It builds slowly for days till you realize what is going on.
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Old 04-28-21, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Like real estate -- location, location, location. ..
I agree.
What is a cicada?
Or a snake, for that matter.
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Old 04-28-21, 10:25 AM
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They also hangout in mouths of birds! Birds are in for a buffet.

The sound of these things for some reason to me sound electronic, just a weird sound, and they're very loud, and with a lot more of them this year it's really going to be loud. And these guys will start their noise, reach a fevered pitch in unison then die off to just a small few for about a couple of seconds, then it starts back up all over again slowly building up to an almost deafening noise, like a wave of sound coming and going, coming and going. It's fascinating. They're ugly as heck, and they look like they could hurt you...but they can't, they have no mouths or stingers, even if your pet eats one don't worry about it. By the way they are edible by humans! Not that I would want to eat one but there are ways to prepare them for eating, below is one method of cooking them:

https://www.instructables.com/How-to...red-for-Great/ Don't forget to de-wing AND de-leg the Cicada, that site failed to mention the legs. There are several ways to cook them, some people eat them raw? yup!

Can you say yum yum? I never tasted one but some say they taste a bit like shrimp or lobster with overtones of asparagus and almonds, I can't personally tell you what they taste like nor do I want to find out.
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Old 04-28-21, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post

I never tasted one but some say they taste a bit like shrimp or lobster with overtones of asparagus and almonds, I can't personally tell you what they taste like nor do I want to find out.
They pair nicely with Chenin blancs from the Anjou and Bonnezeaux AOCs of he Middle Loire.

If red is more to your liking, there is this:

Domaine Chante Cigale The Cicada | Vivino
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Old 04-28-21, 10:43 AM
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Never had any problem with 'em while bicycling. But 34 years ago, while riding a motorcycle, rode through a bunch of 'em. DIdn't feel great through my t-shirt!!
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Old 04-28-21, 11:25 AM
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I don't remember what year it was but one season in Chicago there was a 17 year and 7 year bloom. They were all over the place. We took the kids to the Botanical Garden and the sidewalks were covered in them. the local news services were publishing recipes for cooking them. Seems that their best et right when they come out of the shell before they take to flight. It was the first year I saw and heard of Cicada Killers!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphecius

Last edited by Jmpierce; 04-28-21 at 11:27 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 04-28-21, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
But 34 years ago, while riding a motorcycle, rode through a bunch of 'em. DIdn't feel great through my t-shirt!!
That would have been the same large brood that will be emerging this year. Brood X, which emerges every 17 years.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
And these guys will start their noise, reach a fevered pitch in unison then die off to just a small few for about a couple of seconds, then it starts back up all over again slowly building up to an almost deafening noise, like a wave of sound coming and going, coming and going. It's fascinating.
Interestingly, they usually quiet down when it is cloudy. On a dark overcast day, the cicadas are just a fraction of their usual noisiness. But the strangest is on a partly-cloudy day, when the sun moves in and out of the clouds. The cicadas quiet down when the sun goes behind a cloud, and start making their sound again when the sun comes back out. It is as if the sun whips them into a frenzy.

We used to live in Ohio, and we had the cicadas that last summer we lived there.... Then we moved to Illinois over the winter, and had cicadas again the following summer!

They were last here in 2007, so we won't see them here again until 2024. Except of course for the "regular" annual cicadas but they are just a small number in comparison.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:21 PM
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I love cicadas. The whirring noise sounds like the mother ship is hovering beyond the next hill.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:32 PM
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Like many things, I wonder if the local new here blows the cicada thing out of proportion to entertain the viewers. According to the news clips I saw on TV, the people on the east coast will be eaten alive.

I guess I am much safer here on the west coast escaping from fires and jumping over cracks in the streets from the earthquakes.
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Old 04-28-21, 12:35 PM
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I remember seeing them in Australia but had no idea (until this year) about Brood X. Living on the west coast, I find it fascinating.
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