Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Working the Bugs Out

Summer brings warm days, even in the early morning. As the mercury rises, the jersey zipper goes down.

Over the years I have encountered a whole spectrum of biting and stinging insects, and spiky-footed beetles. I've had the yellowjacket up the shorts, bees, wasps and hornets down the shirt, and various mites, midges and helicopters down the windpipe.

Generally when this happens I must grab the lower edge of my jersey or tee shirt and shake it to coax the miserable insect to the exit. In extreme cases I might have to execute an angry hornet that won't let bygones be bygones. Those will keep stinging in anger rather than try to escape. One way or another, I get them out eventually.

Commuting, I wear a bum bag strapped around my waist. This complicates the bug situation, because the route to freedom assisted by gravity no longer works. It's led to some funny scenes in which I clench my fist around an angry hornet while yanking upward on my shirt with the other hand, sometimes at 30 or 40 miles per hour on a descent.

This year seems especially buggy. I just zip the jersey and forgo the ventilation when the barrage gets too constant.

A wasp in the helmet vents can be pretty bad, too. Fortunately, the bandanna I wear is just enough to keep stingers from getting through all the way. The flow of air through the helmet vents guides the attacker to freedom soon enough. So far, anyway.


Dr. Logan said...

It's been especially buggy here too. Not terribly excited about it as I don't shave my arms or legs and bugs get stuck in the hair. Pleasant image, no?

cafiend said...

Yeah, delightful.

Every year I'm tempted to shave my legs again, but I hate growing it back. I also like to have my winter coat when cold weather comes.

Leg shaving has many advantages: cooler, cleaner and -- as you pointed out -- less of a bug trap. So even the non-racer, who doesn't get regular massages or suffer frequent road rash, can benefit from it.