Sunday, 21 August 2011


The temperature has remained high (35 degrees in the shade today) so an early start was necessary for our mountain bike outing yesterday. I got to Pat's in time for a 09.30h start and we quickly set off along the track which turned into a rideable path through to Dun. The path section was where we had our first inkling that the insect population was going to be a problem. We found ourselves mobbed by flies, probably due to the overnight damp that was now being warmed up by the strengthening sun. But they were just flies. Irritating, but not a major problem. Having 'armed' myself with a section of twig as a fly twatterer (that's a technical term, by the way!), we pushed on to an increasingly steep section of relatively loose track after Dun, which proved challenging but not impossible with more flies, before a fun run down the valley. It's a lovely area for mountain biking with clear views to the Monts d'Olmes in the distance
A section of tarmac was followed by more generally rideable path on which we were again mobbed by flies. Except these weren't just flies. These were horseflies. Clegs. Of the biting variety. They were manic. I mean, they were seriously deranged. Think the fly version of Hannibal Lecter having been on a starvation diet for 6 months! They were evil. They divebombed us from every angle and it was just impossible to repel them with my 'twatterer' when cycling narrow and fairly technical single track path. Pedal faster. Faster! Outrun the bastards! Nope. Impossible. The next section of tarmac couldn't some soon enough. We took the decision to trade the next planned section of offroad path/track for the comfort of quiet tarmac lanes, as neither of us could face another cleg onslaught and the associated frantic effort to try and avoid them in the rapidly climbing temperatures. By the time we got back to Pat's after 40kms of riding, I was hot and very very sweaty. I later discovered three juicy cleg bites out of my bum and two on my right leg. Despite taking an antihistamine this morning (Sunday), the bites still itch like crazy. I cannot wait until the horsefly season comes to an end and we can again ride in peace, for yesterday's attack was truely something out of my worst nightmare.

No comments: