Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bee Bit My Bottom, Now My Bottom's Big

It was my worst baggy-shorts nightmare.

I was finishing up an absolutely outstanding tandem ride with my studly stoker-spouse. We'd rolled out into perfect conditions: 70s, sunny, no wind. Rode the Greenbelt Trail into West Des Moines, grabbed some lunch, startled a fuzzy-antlered young buck on the trail, saw my very first Rohloff hub gear in the wild (didn't have a chance to chat with the owner about it, though) and stopped at the bike shop on the way back. Really, an idyllic way for this bike geek to start his long weekend.

Then, we started the "descent" into home. For locals, that's eastbound Ingersoll between 42nd and 35th. Not exactly a "stop to tuck newspapers into the front of your jersey first" kind of downhill, but on the tandem, those gradual downward slopes can really build some momentum. So we let 'er rip.

And just about the time we hit terminal velocity, some kind of insect flew up the flapping leg opening of my otherwise-wonderful J&G Touring Shorts, panicked, and instead of quietly going out the way he came in, stung me on the right butt cheek. Seriously. I'm all for adding some excitement to a ride, but frantically swatting at one's arse with one hand while trying to control a loaded tandem going Mach 1 with the other hand is not my idea of a good time.

The captain managed to keep the ship on course without a FDGB (Fall Down Go Boom), and the sting feels fine after a bit of calamine lotion, but I must grudgingly admit that Lycra does have its benefits in situations like this. If that little beastie had gone left instead of right and found my man-junk instead of my ample posterior, I'd have turned right back around for the bike shop and bought a whole new skin-tight wardrobe right then and there.


Amy said...

In terms of pain, was it in "Sweet Mother of G-d territory?" I'm so glad both of you avoided the dreaded FDGB.

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Nah... more of a "holy cr@p, there's something in my shorts that doesn't belong!" freak-out. I'm kind of surprised I've been able to ride in baggies for as long as I have without that happening before. I did wreck a perfectly good pair of sunglasses one when a big bug got inside of them on a descent and my first reaction was to fling them off. Oops.

Now, had I lost the tandem at approx. 30mph, the story would have ended ugly...

Anonymous said...

what's the deal with bees anyway??

I've had them fly down my jersey twice, stinging themselves to death each time (that's about two good stings, and a couple of minor stings).

In addition, there have been two incidents of bees flying into my fingers and stinging before departing. This is one good justification for the little keychain swiss army knives, since I was able to use the tweezers to pull the stinger out of my fingertip (ow!)

While I can't say "I feel your pain", I've been close. And that's why I don't wear baggy shorts while riding a recumbent!

Steve K.
Peoria, IL