This past weekend I finally got out on some dirt this year, after doing some training laps for 4 or 5 weeks around my neighborhood. It was good to be back in the saddle and off cement, but it was a short but interesting ride…
The technical section of the trail isn’t too bad when you are in top form, but I clearly was lacking my normal balance and drive, which made the descents harrowing and the ascents brutal. The large rocky “ramp” section up was too much to even try. However, I didn’t crash, I had a lot of fun, and I eventually hit my stride on the flats down by the river. After dodging poison ivy for several miles, trying to say out of the mud bogs -this section was recently flooded- and even finding a bridge out, I had to turn around because I knew I wouldn’t make it back to the car before it got dark.
And then something happened that I couldn’t have prepared for; I got stung by a wasp! As I was happily pedaling along, minding my own business, a wasp flew into my half-open mouth – causing me to instinctively close it. This apparently made it very angry and it stung the inside of my lip. Fortunately I am not allergic to bug stings, but I was fairly alarmed as the inside of my lip swelled to the size of a small super ball. The ice in my camel back had long ago melted and I had nothing but water to apply to keep down the swelling…all my sting ointments in my first aid kit were for external use only!
So I did the only thing I could do, which was pedal. I was about 5 miles from the car, but I was able to catch some pavement for most of the return trip. I felt like a goof with a big swollen lip, but there were no spectators out in this part of the world – so I made it back with my pride. A stop at Quick Trip for some ice really helped the swelling and by the time I got home my wife didn’t even notice it until I said something.
If I learned one lesson it was the need for some sort of cold technology in my first aid kit to use to reduce swelling in emergencies such as this. You just never know what is going to happen around the next corner!
Sadly -or maybe fortunately- I didn’t have my camera with me to document the event.