Friday, August 14, 2009

Running, Riding, and Critters

It happened again tonight on my 43 mile ride. Bugs. Not just a few, but at least millions. What's up with that?

I've been running for about eight years. Distances of 5K,10K, Half-Marathons, Marathons, and Ultras. No bugs. Then I started cycling again about six weeks ago. Now bugs. Does speed attract bugs? I'm not really sure, but I think there is a difference between being a runner and a cyclist that I never thought of. Critters. Bugs, and all sorts of things.

Just tonight I saw two raccoons (roadkill I'm afraid), 10 goats, several cows, piles of stuff in the road that cows make, a lizard-like creature that was running across the road, ducks, geese, turkey vultures (at least that's what people tell me they are), and bugs. I mean stick in the teeth bugs. A couple of them had an express lane trip right down my throat.

I consumed at least a dozen mouthfuls of a variety of these protein Man vs. Wild gourmet delights. Who needed to bring a protein drink along when all you have to do is open your mouth and say, "Look I'm speeding past you, jump in for a ride".

Then it got serious. They got all over my Hammer Nutrition clothes. Commonly referred to as a "kit". Not cool. I was covered with bugs from helmet to toe. I love my kits. I really don't like to get them dirty at all. A little or even a lot of sweat is ok. But bugjuice. No!

Now, it's not the first time this has happened. I have been riding this course for several weeks now and no bugs. Why now? Did the Bug Bus just happen to let off a billion bugs along my route just to attack me? The little ones, hey, I can handle them maybe. But the large ones hat hit the helmet and various parts of the my body with a thud and a splat need to go somewhere else. This is just not working for me. When I finished tonight I looked like the front end of a Ford Pick-Up truck.

Not that my 15-25 MPH pace will stagger the Tour de France people, but it is definitely attractive to the bugs of the Midwest. As a runner, I have had no bug worries and don't anticipate any. I have some foot speed too. Qualified for and ran Boston and am scheduled to run it again in 2010. Am a member of the Marathon Maniacs. Have put down some pretty good PR's now and then as well as some clunkers. But in all of those races, I have been bug free. Is it the speed that attracts bugs? Or is it just that I am running into them and they are totally surprised too?

Think about that. As a bug, you're just flying along minding your own business and then Wham! You're a helmet decal. I guess it goes both ways. Anyway, any advice you can add would be appreciated. I have a long run tomorrow and will ride in a Livestrong event on Sunday. We'll see about the bugs.

On a more serious note, my son Andy just loaned me his copy of the George Hincapi DVD. Wow! That is a must watch DVD. Very inspirational and very well done. What an amazing individual.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

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