This summer has been wonderful for riding. I’ve been on my bike every day, and soaking in the good weather while it’s here. Even going to work isn’t so bad when the sun is shining and there’s a nice breeze. No matter how nice the conditions, I always make a point to remain alert and safe.
For me remaining safe includes observing the flow of traffic, looking out for pot holes, inspecting my bike before a ride, etc. However, this past week I encountered a foe I never thought to look out for, an insect. Not just any insect either, but one with a stinger – a bee.
There I was minding my own business driving down Barham Boulevard towards work, enjoying the increasingly cool breeze down the decline on the mountain . I was almost in a state of extreme bliss. Then, about three fourths of the way down, I felt a sharp pain pierce the skin at the front of my throat.
That’s right, a bee stung me in the neck while I was going about forty miles per hour down a mountain. I didn’t know it at the time of course. I thought maybe a tiny pebble had been launched into the air and hit me in the throat. However, soon my neck began to feel like it was on fire. I gagged as I tried to remain in control of my bike barreling down the mountain side.
Luckily, I managed to make it to my building and park without getting into an accident. However, the longer the stinger stayed in my throat, the more intense the heat became. I was beginning to freak out because my mom warned me my entire life about my allergy to bee stings.
As soon as I got into the office, I had a co-worker remove the stinger from my neck, then we proceeded to the first aid kit. I cleaned the wound with rubbing alcohol, which of course added to the heating sensation spreading across my neck, then I took a Benadryl and an Ibruprofen.
I honestly have no idea what I would’ve done pre-Google. The instructions I found there were clear and helped me avoid having an all out allergic reaction.
Normally, I’d attempt to finish this tale with some parting advice, but this was one of the most random incidents I’ve ever had on my motorcycle. For a while I thought if I’d had my jacket zipped all the way to the top this wouldn’t have happened, but that was just wishful thinking. Even if my jacket had been secured to the top, I still would’ve been stung because I was hit directly in the center of my throat above where my zipper stopped.
So, at the end of the day you really can’t plan for freak events. However, you can manage your reaction to unforeseen circumstances. Ha, look at that. I found a lesson after all.
Stay safe in these streets!