Monday, August 31, 2015

A Bee in the Bonnet

Post ride looking for something cold

On our rides we often say "you don't get this stuff sitting on the couch at home." True but for a few minutes yesterday that couch was looking pretty good...

The ride was Nockamixon. Hot and humid it was our 3rd ride in as many days. We were wrapping up a short food break when it started. A couple painful stings and a few confused expletives. A swarm of very angry wasps was upon us. A hundred yards of frantic pedaling to get away from the nest but the stinging continued and I had to stop in a vain attempt to swat them away. But then the swarm increased. Damn, they were following us! More frantic pedaling. My ankles and left hand were already a mess but now they were stinging under my helmet and shirt and - ahem - in my shorts. They are pissed and they are following us and we can't seem to lose them. Now everything is a blur of pedaling and stinging and swatting and cursing. We roll up on a trail work crew. I ditch the bike and run behind a tree to drop my drawers. All clear. Shake my clothes. Swearing. I toss my helmet to the ground and ... the mystery is solved. Out of my helmet rolls a nest of yellow jackets. Sonofabitch.

So they weren't exactly chasing us...The entire time we were pedaling "away" from the nest, they were bouncing along in or on my helmet getting more and more pissed and doing what they do when they get pissed. Goddamit.

Moments prior. Notice there
is no cursing or swatting.
I counted about a dozen stings. Head, hands, back, and butt. My ankles got it really good with 5-6 stings but it gets better ... my crotch and ...yes it gets even better still ... one right on the family jewels. Ironically it's the ankles that were the most "uncomfortable." Once it was apparent none of us were going into apoplectic shock we swore a couple more times and eventually got our heads back into the game and finished with 90 minutes of miles and smiles.

Post ride we grabbed a cooler of coldies from the truck so we could relax for the customary post-ride debrief (the first coldie went straight into my shorts). As usual the conversation was pithy and far ranging but can be summarized as:

  • Check your helmet. Now check it again.
  • It can be a fine line between thanking someone for doing you a big favor and thinking you want to punch them in the face.
  • Everyone has their price. No exceptions.
  • Mangoes are awesome.

So in the end I have to say I'm still glad I got off the couch yesterday to hang out with this bunch. And with the itching and swelling that I've got going right now, that is "sayin' something."


“You do something stupid, you gotta act like it didn't hurt" 
     – Anonymous