from the desk of Colin Nicholls

Category: Cycling

Bee Season

So there I was, merily pedalling along the longer atherton loop, when a honey bee rear-ended my hand with an approximate impact velocity of 30 mph.

I say “rear-ended” because although the bee was most likely flying head-on in my direction, he left his rear-end behind in the flesh of my finger.

Heh. “Bee hind”. Heh.

Anyway. I’ve always understood that you don’t use tweezers to remove the stinger because you don’t want to squeeze more poison into the wound. This may be true; but this doesn’t mean you should leave the stinger in place either. I left my finger untouched and cycled all the way home before attempting to remove the stinger, and this turns out to be unwise. Apparently, the muscles in the aft-quarters will continue to pump. In my case, I couldn’t stop cycling – I had no tools of any kind with me, or my glasses for that matter. If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is to try and brush off the stinger in a sideways motion, perpendicular to the sting. 

I didn’t do that, and by the time I got home, my finger was quite swollen below the ring (it was my ring finger!) and rather sore.

Ignacio/Indian Valley Loop

15 miles. 90 minutes. Average speed 10 miles/hour. This sounds low, but there were several points where I dismounted and checked out the route to see if it was cycle-able, and also about half of the terrain is “off road” so it’s nothing to be shameful of.

Cycling through Indian Valley Preserve

Another nice loop around Novato is to go through the Indian Valley Preserve. On a bike you basically have to stick to the main firebreak trail but there is obviously lots of great walkways to follow if you’re in the mood for hiking.

Google says that was an 11 mile loop. Heh. On Saturday, I hardly felt it. Yesterday I took a similar route but didn’t go through the actual open space preserve area, for a 9 mile loop. 

Not sure if I’ll go out today or not. On the other hand, I figure I should take advantage of this great weather while it lasts.

Cycling the Olive Loop

On my bike ride this evening I did the “Olive Road” loop, which thanks to Google Maps’ new “Cycle Route” feature, I can tell you is a 9.4 mile trip. It took me 50 minutes and interestingly that is exactly what Google says would be a typical journey time.

It’s a good route because it runs alongside a wildlife preserve. In the early evening there are always birds and small mammals and lizards running about at the side of the road.

It’s also pretty much at my limit in terms of endurance, currently. On the other hand, I’ve started cycling for exercise serious about 2 or 3 weeks ago and the difference between now and then is quite noticeable. So I’m sure if I can keep this daily schedule up, I’ll get even better.

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