Sunny with a Chance of Bugs – Patrick’s Commuting Adventures
We are nearly half way through Bike and Walk to Work Month! And Patrick has shared another adventure during his ride home. Though, this time, it is not the weather providing the challenge!
Weather.com says I don’t need to worry about any surprise rain this time! 75 degrees and sunny without a cloud in the sky. It’s days like this that I hope nobody from out-of-town is here, because I can’t imagine anyone from anywhere not wanting to instantly move to the Northwest if they got to experience a day like this! For bikers, it doesn’t get any better!
As I don my helmet and prepare to leave, I see a group of flying insects lit up by the bright afternoon sun. They seem to be almost frolicking; a giddy dance without purpose or direction. Little did I know what an ill-portent that would be for my trip home.
A few minutes into my relaxing ride, I get a rude awakening as an enormous flying insect decides to dive-bomb my ear. In the blink of an eye, I process the split second crescendo of humming flight, then feel the dull thud of a collision immediately followed by the loud angry buzz of a bug trying to extricate itself from my ear. It feels fuzzy and large, and fortunately is able to fly away before my natural instinct of smashing it can take over and inadvertently drive it into my brain. Disconcerted but not permanently scarred, I ride on!
Sometime later a bug flies in my mouth. It happens. I’ve had worse. I don’t know what it is, but it’s small and goes down quickly. I figure it was about 0.02% of my RDA of protein. Boy the bugs are active today; apparently Bug-Spring started today!
Later, I begin to cross the Knickerbocker Bridge over the Willamette River. I’ve learned from experience that there are a couple spots that bugs like to hang out around this bridge. The river is literally a spawning ground for gnats and the stupid ones seem to like to hover directly over the bike path – at head level no less. I’m on high alert from my previous interactions with Order Diptera, so I easily spot the swarm dead ahead and have plenty of time to close my mouth – careful also to breathe out so they don’t fly up my nose. I feel a few hit my face but none manage to lodge themselves in any orifices, and I emerge unscathed.
I’ll still take 75, sunny, and buggy over 37, rainy, and bug-less any day. Bring on Summer!