Monday, June 21, 2010

Buzzing Noise

A theme has emerged for my rides in the last few weeks. At least once per week I encounter a swarm of some sort. The first meeting was with the locusts. This was kinda gross as they were splattered all over the road and they stung when they hit my bare legs and arms. Also, I had to keep my mouth closed while going through them to maintain my vegan status. The next week it was gnats. These suckers were extremely annoying and this swarm wasn't one you could just go through. The gnats followed me so that I was the center of the movement. Let's just say I wasn't feeling honored to be held in such high regard that they would follow me to the ends of the earth! For those of you keeping score, I managed to get through without ingesting any gnats. They were making me annoyed enough that I considered chomping down on a few!! Last week I got intimate with another type of swarm. The ride started out great. By great I mean climbing right away and having an elevation gain of 4000ft in 9 miles. That kind of great!
Flowers Blooming in June

Surprisingly, the hillsides were still quite green (for Southern California) and flowers were blooming everywhere. The air was fragrant with the smell of blossoms and this made me a happy rider. Guess what? I was not the only creature happy that there were flowers and pollen in abundance! From a distance there was a steady drone, that I could even hear above my breathing. After turning a corner the source of the buzzing was revealed and it was not a power line! As Winnie the Pooh so wisely said 'that buzzing noise means something. If there's a buzzing noise, somebody's making a buzzing noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing noise that I know of is because you're a bee'.

Bee Swarm on Trail

The picture of the swarm is a little blurry. Trust me, there are bees everywhere in that picture. I was not going to tempt fate and plow on through. There wasn't time for me to explain to the bees that I mean them no harm and that I don't even partake in eating the sweet nectar that they work so hard to produce. I think bees sting now, think later! The buzzing noise was quite ominous and the bees were not on the move. They were working very hard at whatever they were doing , but staying in the same location. I surrendered to my formidable opponents and retreated back down the trail. I may have squished a few if I had rode through but they would have won the battle with one sting, I am allergic.


I'll be back to ride this trail because I still need to see the top. The bees have done me a favor by increasing the suspense. A nine mile climb is a great place to work on being relaxed and smooth on the bike. I do hope that this week the swarm that I will inevitably encounter will be quieter and softer. Perhaps, I will be lucky enough to see some butterflies migrating! Then, like Muhammad Ali when I am doing Leadville 'I'll be floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee'.

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