The tittle describes what happened on Saturday leading to a very unmotivated Sunday. Back to the start of the adventure, Shannon and I loaded up a couple bikes and a couple dogs in the old man sedan and headed just a little north. unfortunately no photos, once you hear why you will understand. We pulled into the Torrence Barrens rock parking lot, it was all but empty, this should have given us a hint. 10 minutes later we roll away from the car with the dogs running like lunatics ahead. It was going to be a good day, that thought lasted about 5 minutes. It didn't take long for the evil to sense our presence, they started with me. At first they were just an annoyance but the swarm got thicker and thicker. As the size increased so did the aggressiveness. This was 10 minutes into the ride, we should have turned around and called it a day but we pushed on hoping they would just go away. They didn't.
What was it? Deer flies, very hungry, very aggressive deer flies. In all my 38 years of camping, hiking, and back country stuff I have never ever been attacked so badly by them as I did that day. I stayed in the lead of the single track to show Shannon the way, the trail was actually fun and will be great to play on another time when the bugs are all DEAD!!!! The dogs were being attacked, at any given time we had at least a dozen on us biting simultaneously. Beyond what you could swat away. You ask why we hadn't turned around? When they actually got bad we were at least a 1/4 way around the loop. By the halfway point we were dealing with them. Then we hit some standing water. As we ran beside it with our bikes we seemed to wake up even more.
From this point we pretty much went into full on survival mode and pushing around the loop as fast as possible. The dogs were able to dive into random puddles to cool down and drowned a few of the flies at the same time, we were so lucky. Then it happened, I came around a blind corner turning right when the front end slid out and I heard a sound. I wound have much rather it been the sound of a wild animal than the sound of a burped tire. I didn't lose all the air but enough that I couldn't ride unless I wanted to do huge damage to the rim on the rock. We were still over a 1km away from the car. A quick check of my co1, its not working, won't use the word I used. I started running with the bike as I continued to get eaten alive. Shannon fooled to make sure nothing fell out of my back pockets, like car keys.
I have no idea how long I ran, it hurt, the impact of running on rock in bike shoes was almost as unenjoyable as the chunks of skin that was being ripped out of every area of my body. We finally made it back to the car, Shannon jumped in the car with the dogs, cranked on the air conditioning as I spun my legs out on her bike in attempts to not vomit from the run. I still had a couple deer flies chase me but now out on the pavement I was able to stay ahead of them with little effort. I gave them the finger more than once. A few minutes later we were on our way to Bala where we tried to numb the bites will sitting in the water, retelling the tales. I had chunks of my skull missing where the bugs of death had got into my helmet, chunks out of my legs including my left leg tendons. This all came into play for Sunday. We have opted to wait to to fall before we return to the Barrens.
Sunday morning came around, I felt ok and headed out for a long ride. Things went from ok to bad. I finished my ride but I was grumpy. The legs felt like crap, my left leg behind my knee was swollen from the pack of deer lies that had hung out there and feasted. Other body parts began to feel like crap, then my head started to swell. This was the first time in a long time when I just didn't want to be on the bike. I almost called Shannon to come pick me up. I rolled back in to the house 3 hours later, kinda grumpy. This was the theme for the rest of the day and I found myself sleeping the rest of the day. I also developed a headache. I don't get headaches, unless I've over done it the night before. Again this morning my head is pulsing, I'm a bit of a suck when I feel like crap. Assumptions is that my head is swelling from the bites.
Racing the Ontario Cup would have hurt less. Hoping the pulse in my brain goes away.