Feeling as refreshed as one could considering the heat I’d already endured we left the outlaws and I followed the Mrs to a servo so she could fill the bus. I declined the offer of a cold coke, the lack of thirst was probably a good indicator that I had rehydrated sufficiently at the inlwas. I told Mrs Big Steve that I wouldn’t wait for her as I wanted to get home faster and open the house up.
Through plenty gorge and on towards Diamond creek and as I was climbing toward Christmas hills something became apparent to me. It was pretty clear that there were more bugs than the average melbourne evening.
I like wearing an open face helmet. It brings you closer to the world, the smell, the feel of temperature changes & with the exception of pouring rain (where it feels like you’re being shot with wet needles) the odd bug splat doesn’t faze me. Over the course of the 1000+ km on the Alpine Junta I copped a few bugs here an there that stung my face. This also happens if I’m getting home on dusk but its usually tolerable. Something was different on Friday, there were literally millions of these small black bugs, they were hitting my helmet making sounds like popcorn popping.
I persisted and rode on through Yarra glen then over to Healesville, on the Warby side of Healesville I had hit my limit, they were in my nose, mouth, and crawling around in my helmet. They were splatted on my glasses and on the front cylinder head in such high numbers that I could smell them cooking. They were stinging my face and arms, they were all over me and the dirty dyna. It seemed to be worse near creeks or damns where the temp would drop a bit, maybe the hot day and cool eveing brought on a some bug breeding orgy?
I pulled over at the end of Don road before the Warby turnoff and pulled out my Polypro headover, it’s like a long tube that you can use as a neck warmer or an open faced balaclava. It does the job when I get caught out in the rain (Or when I’m breaching OBLs compound). Now I should add that I wouldn’t be seen dead with one of “those masks” you see dudes riding with. Decorative skulls or clowns and politician faces painted on them. The headover does the job.
The final 30km was only a marginal improvement after masking up. The bugs were still getting in under my glasses and in through the vents in my helmet.
I got home in one piece with a few learning’s.
- Dusk riding after a sweltering day = Bugs
- When I bug is crawling around in your ear it feels a lot larger than it actually is
- Some bugs taste like mint
- Some bugs smell like vomit when squashed
- I Still love riding motorcycles