Day Ninety Five: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

Getting stung by a wasp is not fun. For me, it ranks way up there, stratospherically high in fact, in my list of ‘unfun’ things to experience. It is perhaps higher even than shopping in IKEA or changing the cat litter.

Getting stung by a wasp whilst descending a technical mountain road at over eighty kilometres per hour raises the bar higher still. Getting stung a second time just minutes later is, quite frankly, taking the piss.

Wasp sting number one was simple. It smacked into my neck, stung me and was gone. I yelped like a child and continued my eighty kilometre an hour descent, teeth gritted. I was just thinking about how long it had been since I was last stung by anything, other than the taxman when – enter stage left, wasp number two.

Wasp sting number two was a little more scary. I was on a long straightaway, still descending. I had calculated that I had enough time to remove my pita bread sandwich from my jersey pocket, munch it and get my hand back onto the bars for the fast left hander, some three hundred metres away. It would have worked out if Mr. Wasp had not messed up my lunch plans.

I was sitting up with no hands on the bars, unwrapping my sanwich when the wasp flew right behind my sunglasses. Total and utter panic ensued. With one hand clutching my sandwich, I made a grab with the other for my glasses and began to shake my head from side to side. I was now just about to enter the left hand bend. Not ideal then.

Just as I began to enter the fast left hander the wasp found a way out and, as a parting gesture it stung me on the side of the face. It hurt more than first wasp sting.

The first rule of descending on a bike is that you should look at where you want to exit a bend. If you look at your exit route you tend to go that way. If you look at the outside of the bend there is a good chance you will end up there. This is of course not the place to end up. It generally hurts.

My wasp evicting, headshaking antics meant that I had messed up my line entering the corner. Thanks to Mr. Wasp, I was now riding in the gravel on the outside of the bend, doing my best to make it around the bend without wiping out. It is as times like these that sheer bloody will power comes into play. “I will not crash. I will not crash.” I thought, and using something akin to ‘the force’ I made it around the bend. It was very, very close.

Apart from suffering multiple wasp stings and almost crashing, my endurance ride was going well. I had, during a brief moment of cavalier optimism declared that I would ride for five hours and tackle the arduous climb to the top of Santa Fe de Montseny, a 21km ascent that would last about one hour. In retrospect I should have spent more time studying the map as there was a lot more road before the climb than I had envisaged, turning my five hour ride into a six and a half hour ride.

It is, however a beautiful route and the climb, whilst rather long, is not overly steep. It saps your energy, tiring you and slowly enflicting its pain, unlike wasp stings which hurt like hell and are instant.

I leave you with a track by, Gordan Matthew Thomas Sumner. Otherwise known as Sting 🙂


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