Hi, I’m the area cyclist who ventured out into the mayfly swarm and the heat in order to present the other side of MY State’s crazy weather. I’ve written extensively about my biking exploits in the snowstorms and frigid temperatures of Minnesota’s winter. Some might even call it bragging. They’re right. Now I’m going to give equal bragging time to the heat and humidity of Minnesota’s summer.
I turned on my television this morning for a weather report and I got exactly what I was looking for: A legitimate excuse to write about one of my rides for a Cycle365 post.
Channel 9’s “excessive heat warning,” combined with the 10-25 m.p.h. winds, provided just the kind of challenge I was hoping for. I actually like hot and humid weather, but I could easily see where I might change my tune if I lived in a place where 100-degree temperatures were the norm for several consecutive months. But I DON’T live there, and this is MY story.
I waited and waited, and finally I rode out into the afternoon sun. It felt good. I had a flashback to December of 2016 when I rode my mountain bike into 20-below-zero temperatures and wrote a blog post about it.
Here’s an interesting fact: In a matter of two minutes, that popsicle went from a state of frozen solidity, to a state of drippy mush. I ate it in record time. Then I proceed on for a sweaty ride of about 20 miles. That’s the thing about humidity–it produces impressive streams of sweat all over one’s body, but mostly on one’s head and face. The salty perspiration drips in one’s eyes. The salt sting’s the eyes. The stinging reminds you that you are accomplishing something.
I have to admit that I didn’t know about this year’s mayfly hatch until I crossed the Mississippi River bridge. It happens every year. Some years it is more dramatic than others. If you’ve never seen a mayfly hatch, let me tell you, it is quite a phenomenon of nature. These bugs rise from the river by the billions for just a few hours, they mate, then they die. What a life!
Some years the mayflies are so thick that they grease up the bridge and cause automobiles to spin out resulting in crashes that close the bridge down. City snowplows have been called out to remove the accumulation of dead mayflies from the bridge.
I’m glad I was wearing my sunglasses as I screamed back down Highway 61 toward the end of my ride. A few lingering mayflies were in the air and they splatted my face.
The heat and humidity aren’t so bad while riding. It’s when you stop that the sweat starts pouring. There is only one way to remedy that.