Insects and Spiders VS MTB'ers- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Insects and Spiders VS MTB'ers

    Let's talk bug bites while riding... even some good tick stories.

    Every year in the spring and early summer, I seem to get my fair share of bee stings, bites, etc. from my insect friends. The worse is when a bee flies into my helmet and stings the top of my shaved head.

    Yesterday I was descending a doubletrack on my CX bike and felt my upper wrist get extremely hot, like somebody was holding a lighter to it - then it stung for the rest of the ride. Today, it's itchy and inflamed to about a silver dollar size - I'm pretty sure it's a wasp sting, one that got caught underneath my Road ID and decided she wasn't happy with that (females sting).

    How about you? Gruesome pics are welcome here.

  2. #2
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    I got bit by a Spider and now want to see what a bite from a 29er Spider would be like


  3. #3
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    had a fat tick crawling up my calf once. sent it into my chain popped real good like.
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    Got a meat bee inside my shirt one time. Looked down the neck of my shirt and saw it on my stomach so I gave a few love taps thinking I would just squish it and it would fall out. I go on my way thinking it's dead and about a minute later I feel it burrowing into my belly button. Jump off the bike, rip off my shirt and sure enough the ass end of the bee is sticking out of my belly button biting the **** out of me, like it's trying to burrow into my stomach. I ended up having to squish it with my index finger and pull out the carcass. Needless to say, any time I feel something crawling inside my shirt since, is meat with a death blow or two for good measure. No more love taps.

  5. #5
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    What my doctor figured had to be a spider bite. Little bite mark (or whatever) on the side of my right knee, swollen lymph node in my groin. While ultimately no big deal, that's a terrifying place to find something swollen.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Spider bite after three days on prednisone. The black pen line (drawn by the doctor) shows how big the affected area originally was.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Insects and Spiders VS MTB'ers-spiderbite.jpg  

    --If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRuckus View Post
    Spider bite after three days on prednisone. The black pen line (drawn by the doctor) shows how big the affected area originally was.
    Have you developed any super powers yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    ...The worse is when a bee flies into my helmet and stings the top of my shaved head...
    If you have that happen a lot, you might want to get a Uvex helmet with the bug screen in the front vents.

  9. #9
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    Bee in my shorts last year - ugh

    Had a horse fly in my shirt a couple weeks ago
    No moss...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Have you developed any super powers yet?
    Ya, I thought I had a spidey-sense thing going until I realized it was just a result of an ill-advised mixing of the prednisone and a bunch of beers.
    --If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

  11. #11
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    this is a quick snap from my backyard.



    and now these lil' guys are spreading their webs across ALL THE DAMN trails where I ride....

    so I let my friends go first



    PS - they are harmless garden spiders....but still creepy when strung across your face...
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  12. #12
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    I left work early today and I saw the requests for a trail report so I figured I'd go for a ride and post my findings. Not having been to this particular trail before I didn't know exactly what to expect but I heard it was nice.

    The ride across the levee was best described as "boggy". You don't sink or leave any ruts....but it feels like you have to pedal 1.5 times as hard as normal just to keep moving. The ground is holding as much water as it possibly can.

    Shortly after hitting the actual trail I realized that I might have fallen for a trick that people play on the noob after it's been warm and rainy for two weeks. The trick being to get the new guy to go out before you ride and clear every single spider web off the trail with his face. If there is a spider in west Tennessee that makes a web I've either had it on my face or eaten it today. It got so bad that I quit even trying to pull the webs and spiders off my face. The big orange and black ones are quite disconcerting, but they really don't seem harmful. It might have been my “active counter-measures” that ran the spiders off and kept them from harming me. This consists of a loud piercing sonic event that many people compare to the frightened scream of a small school-girl. About halfway through the ride I thought that I might have to change my handle to "Spiderman".

    I also discovered that the only thing slicker than a snot covered log is a log that has been out in the rain for two weeks. Traction simply doesn’t exist on anything made out of wood right now. Roots, bridges, logs, nothing can stick to it right now. This caused some problems in corners as my back end went slipping away (when the back tire rolled over roots...especially the cypress knobs).

    Another lesson today was that saplings love to grab handlebars. I’m not sure if this is malicious behavior on their part or if it’s just that they are young and you can’t expect much more out of them...but you’ve definitely got to watch them.

    Perhaps the most unexpected event of the day was that I was introduced to one of what must be a dilemma shared by many mountain bikers. The dilemma is this: You’re rolling along at speed on a wet trail on a bike whose V-brakes covered in mud, your effective stopping distance is roughly 1.75 miles, you round a corner on a slight downhill and you see the shape of a large poisonous snake stretched out across the path. You instinctively crouch on your bike as you prepare to bunny hop the serpent when you realize that directly ABOVE the snake is a huge spider monitoring his web, and that when you execute your bunny hop the spider will land directly in the middle of your face. You’ve got roughly one-second to make the decision…run over the snake and avoid the spider; or miss the snake and have a huge arachnid on your face. Indecision at this precious moment will likely lead to you crashing ONTO the snake WITH the spider on your face, flailing your arms wildly and screaming like a girl as you attempt to extricate yourself from your bike, avoid being bitten by the snake, get the spider off your face and make it to the lake where a bass fisherman can get you to safety…clearly that won’t do. It’s a dilema that must be solved upon quickly. I bunny hopped and ducked at the same time and jumped over what turned out to be a snake colored root/stick and I took the big spider to the top of the helmet. It was a good practice run for the inevitable.

  13. #13
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    BigRuckus - Prednisone... nasty stuff. Was that worse than the spider bite? I've known people who had to take it and had some pretty intense side effects (hallucination/delusion, major paranoia, etc).

    I ride in the mornings, anyway, moreso with the entire US being a kiln right now. Usually a couple people there right when it opens. I always take my time getting ready, let them take point on spider-web sweep duties. Some people are freaked by snakes or roaches -- spiders are my thing. The worst are the bungee-strength lines you run through, knowing full well something huge built that and OH GOD WHERE IS IT IT'S PROBABLY LAYING EGGS IN MY EAR.

    You guys who can keep riding on after catching a face full of web are tougher than me... I'm jumping off my bike right away, helmet off, spazzing out looking to see if there's a spider on me.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotoDengo View Post
    OH GOD WHERE IS IT IT'S PROBABLY LAYING EGGS IN MY EAR.
    They'll suck your brains out too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GotoDengo View Post
    BigRuckus - Prednisone... nasty stuff. Was that worse than the spider bite? I've known people who had to take it and had some pretty intense side effects (hallucination/delusion, major paranoia, etc).

    I ride in the mornings, anyway, moreso with the entire US being a kiln right now. Usually a couple people there right when it opens. I always take my time getting ready, let them take point on spider-web sweep duties. Some people are freaked by snakes or roaches -- spiders are my thing. The worst are the bungee-strength lines you run through, knowing full well something huge built that and OH GOD WHERE IS IT IT'S PROBABLY LAYING EGGS IN MY EAR.

    You guys who can keep riding on after catching a face full of web are tougher than me... I'm jumping off my bike right away, helmet off, spazzing out looking to see if there's a spider on me.
    This is my biggest fear in the world.

  16. #16
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    Two weeks ago I took a friend on his first trail ride. Some kind of bug got into his helment and as he tried to knock it out he hit his right grip on a small tree. Needless to say the tree and bug won the fight as he went over the handle bars. But all was good nothing broke. After we cleared the helment and I stopped laughing he finished the ride strong and loves it.

  17. #17
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    i just like to stick the tall guy in the front to clear out the webs

    i recently rode into a nest of spider babies...so i was covered in them. i wasnt that bothered by the babies...it was more the possibility that mother spider was attached to me as well.
    Last edited by NicoleB; 07-29-2011 at 07:29 AM.

  18. #18
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    I'm glad I started this thread because some of your stories are cracking me up.

    My arm swelled up last night and itches like crazy.

  19. #19
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    The Deer Flies are as bad as ever this year in Michigan, as long as you keep your speed up they just follow, but if you stop you are swarmed, some sections are worse then others, Deep Woods Off does a good job, but they still find a spot to bite after awhile. A dip in the lake is a must to wash off the Off..
    The other day I was going at a good pace in the farthest part of the trail, my back tire slid off a edge of the trail on a ledge, that stopped me, there was a spot of sunlight ahead of me, the following flies passed me, there must have been 100 or more in the sunlight, I had Off on and just kind of laughed, when I ride with a open mouth I get extra protien..LOL!! those things are mean.. not as mean as the black flies in northern Michigan/Canada, but still mean..
    Four wheels transport the body,

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  20. #20
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    Hah, remember riding once when a bee flew into my fullface. This freaked me out a good bit but I held my composure while it stung me in the neck ultimately. The surprising thing is that I didn't crash (claim).

  21. #21
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    i was on the road bike last night, going nearly 20 mph and a bat flew at my face, then it was all confused and flopping around inches from my face for about 5 seconds. i'm screaming my head off and surprised it didnt end up in my mouth. my riding partner was laughing the whole time and was very impressed i didnt crash. Then mere minutes later he hit another bat full speed. not sure how the bat is doing after that!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by muddytire View Post
    I left work early today and I saw the requests for a trail report so I figured I'd go for a ride and post my findings. Not having been to this particular trail before I didn't know exactly what to expect but I heard it was nice.

    The ride across the levee was best described as "boggy". You don't sink or leave any ruts....but it feels like you have to pedal 1.5 times as hard as normal just to keep moving. The ground is holding as much water as it possibly can.

    Shortly after hitting the actual trail I realized that I might have fallen for a trick that people play on the noob after it's been warm and rainy for two weeks. The trick being to get the new guy to go out before you ride and clear every single spider web off the trail with his face. If there is a spider in west Tennessee that makes a web I've either had it on my face or eaten it today. It got so bad that I quit even trying to pull the webs and spiders off my face. The big orange and black ones are quite disconcerting, but they really don't seem harmful. It might have been my “active counter-measures” that ran the spiders off and kept them from harming me. This consists of a loud piercing sonic event that many people compare to the frightened scream of a small school-girl. About halfway through the ride I thought that I might have to change my handle to "Spiderman".

    I also discovered that the only thing slicker than a snot covered log is a log that has been out in the rain for two weeks. Traction simply doesn’t exist on anything made out of wood right now. Roots, bridges, logs, nothing can stick to it right now. This caused some problems in corners as my back end went slipping away (when the back tire rolled over roots...especially the cypress knobs).

    Another lesson today was that saplings love to grab handlebars. I’m not sure if this is malicious behavior on their part or if it’s just that they are young and you can’t expect much more out of them...but you’ve definitely got to watch them.

    Perhaps the most unexpected event of the day was that I was introduced to one of what must be a dilemma shared by many mountain bikers. The dilemma is this: You’re rolling along at speed on a wet trail on a bike whose V-brakes covered in mud, your effective stopping distance is roughly 1.75 miles, you round a corner on a slight downhill and you see the shape of a large poisonous snake stretched out across the path. You instinctively crouch on your bike as you prepare to bunny hop the serpent when you realize that directly ABOVE the snake is a huge spider monitoring his web, and that when you execute your bunny hop the spider will land directly in the middle of your face. You’ve got roughly one-second to make the decision…run over the snake and avoid the spider; or miss the snake and have a huge arachnid on your face. Indecision at this precious moment will likely lead to you crashing ONTO the snake WITH the spider on your face, flailing your arms wildly and screaming like a girl as you attempt to extricate yourself from your bike, avoid being bitten by the snake, get the spider off your face and make it to the lake where a bass fisherman can get you to safety…clearly that won’t do. It’s a dilema that must be solved upon quickly. I bunny hopped and ducked at the same time and jumped over what turned out to be a snake colored root/stick and I took the big spider to the top of the helmet. It was a good practice run for the inevitable.
    this had me cracking up! i like snakes, luckily i live in a non-venomous area. but i am terrified of spiders. in that situation, probably would have wrangled that damn snake!

    one of my favorite trails has a tiny narrow trail that cuts thru a field. nevermind the thorns on each side that leave bloody racing stripes on your legs as you ride thru, there is a ton of ragweed (or whatever you call those yellow flowers) anyway, i ride thru wincing and praying because you know what likes to live in those yellow flowers? THESE!!!!

    https://www.sharonfoc.org/sightings/garden_spider.jpg

    i swear they grow to size of horses around here.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i ride thru wincing and praying because you know what likes to live in those yellow flowers? THESE!!!!

    https://www.sharonfoc.org/sightings/garden_spider.jpg

    i swear they grow to size of horses around here.
    I screached when I opened that pic..

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Have you developed any super powers yet?
    They don't kick in until he takes a shower.
    There....Are... Four...Lights!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i was on the road bike last night, going nearly 20 mph and a bat flew at my face, then it was all confused and flopping around inches from my face for about 5 seconds. i'm screaming my head off and surprised it didnt end up in my mouth. my riding partner was laughing the whole time and was very impressed i didnt crash. Then mere minutes later he hit another bat full speed. not sure how the bat is doing after that!
    We do a ride here in vegas called the tunnels (urban drainage tunnels) and they're tons of bats every time we do it...I've had them flying about 6" from my face for what seems like hundreds of yards, after a coupla times you get a lil used to it... It's always fun to take a newb on it and watch em freak out in the dark with bats swirling around them
    I dig dirt!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    Bee in my shorts last year - ugh

    Had a horse fly in my shirt a couple weeks ago
    Damn! Flying horses, that is some scary stuff.

  27. #27
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    One day I was riding my dirt bike. A wasp got into my shirt. It stung me about 6 times from my neck down to my belly button. Their stings are much more painful then a bee sting and they can sting you more then once. I got so sick, I couldn't do anything for a couple of days. It was like the flu and a hang over hooked up and had a real good time for 2 days.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by spork View Post
    damn! Flying horses, that is some scary stuff.
    :d aaaaahahaha

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    i ride thru wincing and praying because you know what likes to live in those yellow flowers? THESE!!!!

    https://www.sharonfoc.org/sightings/garden_spider.jpg

    i swear they grow to size of horses around here.
    We've had a couple of those in our backyard. Each of them had ther favorite hang out spot and after a while they wouldn't even try to hide/attack when I got close. They can be agressive though so I could see why someone would get freaked out if they hate spiders.

    Muddytire, you didn't happen to run across the tree snake at Stanky Creek did you? There's a root that's fooled almost every rider out there at least a few times if you're riding mid afternoon when the sun's out. A cluster of small roots wth one large one running over the top and that top root looks JUST like a large snake laying across them when the sun is hitting it.

    Larry

  30. #30
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    here riding in the deep south you get pretty used to the insects and you learn to live with em.

    I have been using 95% deet insect repellent on my legs to avoid ticks. For some reason all my tick bites take like 2 months to heal... Its weird and not attractive. The Deet works like a charm.

    One time in the recent past i went for a ride on one of our trails and came back home and napped. I woke up to a tick crawling up my arm and I gently brushed it off thinking it was a spider and went back to bed. The next day i was leaning over my desk and the same motha fkkin tick fell out of my hair onto my desk. Freaked me out. From now on its deet and a thorough inspection of my body after every ride.

    But for some reason i have become the king of getting flying insects into my eyes and under the lids. I dont even freak out anymore. Its has become standard procedure. I stop and squirt water into my eye from a bottle. Problem solved and keep riding.

    The spiderwebs across the trail are another story though. My helmet is always covered in webs. I wear em like a badge.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  31. #31
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    I got stung by the same wasp 2 weeks in a row. The first time I was doing trailwork and moved a log, bastard stung me on the ankle and I ran away like a little girl.

    Next week I rode over the log again (still hadn't gotten it very far). Then I realized I forgot my brushwhip and hopped off the bike to walk back to get it and right as I was stepping over the log the son of a ***** stung me again. In the same spot. The second one wasn't as bad. I realized quicker what was happening and ran away like a little girl again, this time partially laughing because the ****er had got me again.

  32. #32
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    My worst sting story happened about 10 years ago. JRA on a new trail and it just ended. I stopped and thought "thats weird, why does the trail just end" Thats about when I started feeling pinpricks on my ankle. I thought it was ants so I ran about 3 feet and went to brush them off. Thats when I saw the yellowjackets all over my legs and heard the dreaded buzzing all around me. I bolted as fast as I could, one of my shoes actually fell off and was still clipped in, so I'm running around screaming waving my hands wildly with one shoe on. Had to go back and get my bike and got stung again. Bastards got me about a dozen times. That one had me in the ER. I've never had such fast ER service, the nurse started yelling "BEESTING!" and I was in a wheelchair and getting (benadryl?) within seconds.

  33. #33
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    OK I promise this is my last bug story for now.

    About 5-6 years ago tent caterpillars infested our local forest. I mean infested. These ****ers make little webs, just like a spider and the trails were literally crisscrossed with webs. And caterpillars. I had em on my helmet, my arms, my camelback, the area where the cable cross in front of the bars was covered with webs and caterpillars. I was squishing them on my shoulders trying to wipe them off. No one else would lead, because "I really don't know where to go" BS! You just don't wanna deal with the caterpillars!

    Anyway, that infestation killed hundreds of acres of mature oaks. They're still falling like mad, after a good wind or snow storm there are dozens of blowdowns choking the trails. I crush/burn/smash/grind any tent caterpillar nests I see now. And I'm a peace loving hippy type.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry_K View Post
    Muddytire, you didn't happen to run across the tree snake at Stanky Creek did you? There's a root that's fooled almost every rider out there at least a few times if you're riding mid afternoon when the sun's out. A cluster of small roots wth one large one running over the top and that top root looks JUST like a large snake laying across them when the sun is hitting it.

    Larry
    No this one was out at Herb. I'm sucking too much wind when I ride at Stanky to notice anything.

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    I hate being the first one on the trail in the morning, I freak when I hit every web and scream like a school girl.LOL

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chapped (o) Hole View Post
    Got a meat bee inside my shirt one time. Looked down the neck of my shirt and saw it on my stomach so I gave a few love taps thinking I would just squish it and it would fall out. I go on my way thinking it's dead and about a minute later I feel it burrowing into my belly button. Jump off the bike, rip off my shirt and sure enough the ass end of the bee is sticking out of my belly button biting the **** out of me, like it's trying to burrow into my stomach. I ended up having to squish it with my index finger and pull out the carcass. Needless to say, any time I feel something crawling inside my shirt since, is meat with a death blow or two for good measure. No more love taps.
    Thanks for posting....not I got the heebie jeebies just thinking about that.

  37. #37
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    that "burrowing" story reminds me of my poor brother. this has nothing to do with biking, but he got a japanese beetle in his ear. it borrowed in and latched onto his eardrum. any attempts to remove it caused it to start clawing and scratching. there was even blood coming out his ear. he had to be hauled away in an ambulance, this huge grown man crying like a baby. i still shudder about it. its pretty horrible!

  38. #38
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    I got stung by a bee last week while playing disc golf...Not quite the same but still "wounded in action". Gave me the shanks something fierce.

  39. #39
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    I've run over a bee's nest before, then got stung on the way back. Also, I've run through a variety of spider's webs, half of which i can almost guarantee landed in my mouth

  40. #40
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    Some of these stories are EPIC - and totally terrifying!

    I'm going to assume that even though this thread is several years old - the creepy critter encounters aren't going away. I can't speak to the wasps, bees, snakes, or bats - but I have had my share of spider encounters. Big yellow and black ones to be exact. Props to all the riders that think this is just part of the trail - and deal with it.

    If you have spider problems regularly, check out the bike invention right now on Kickstarter. Needs backing to finalize the product and get it properly manufactured. It's designed for bikes to clear webs away while riding. Do something different and change your status quo...

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...&term=weblazer

  41. #41
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    Oh man. Took a wasp sting to the lip last week, luckily within 15 minutes of finishing the loop. An hour later that side of my mouth had tripled in size but it was fine the next morning. Glad I’m not allergic.

  42. #42
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    Many years ago I was riding my motorcycle to Lake Beryessa for a quick swim on a very hot day. Riding too fast on country roads, a yellow jacket became trapped in my shorts and started stinging my leg. I hit the spot and tried to shoo the wasp out.

    However, I was suddenly riding a 500 cc road bike across a tomato field crosswise at almost 70 mph. I remember quite vividly being determined that I would not go down and I didn't.

    I rode the bike back to the road carefully and removed yards of tomato vines from the bike and myself. I rode to the lake, climbed down the cliffs to the water, and had a good swim just outside the line of buoys near the dam.

    I had just climbed back to the bike when I heard cries for help down on the lake as a swimmer got in trouble. Swimmers threw tubes and air mattresses to the swimmer and a couple of boats accelerated towards him.

    All in vain. He went under with help just yards away and didn't come back up. All the way home this event churned through my mind and connected with the recent wild ride through tomatoes and three previous motorcycle accidents.


    The bike spent six months parked, then I sold it. I never rode a motorcycle again and never will. Its not unlikely I can be (and have been) hurt on the mountain bike or skiing, but I'm not so likely to die.

    All because of that damn yellow jacket.
    My mantra: Hike, Bike, Paddle, Ski

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