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The only good doping is bug doping.

August 01, 2007

Now that the Tour de France has succumbed as a result of an overdose, it's time to talk about what really bugs me. Yes, bugs. Insects, that is.

In these parts, we've put up with a spring that was cooler than normal. The wet weather held on until early July. It's been wet almost every day at some point. Perfect conditions for watching the Tour indoors, and perfect conditions for bugs to breed.

I saw my first mosquito before all the snow and ice had melted in April. Not a good sign of things to come, I thought. So every little rainfall since has revived the little devils who love to suck my blood. That's okay, I figured, they will be gone when the weather turns hot and dry in July.

Alas, if only July had been hot and dry. Fans in France were swarming along the route watching the dope-filled atheletes flow past them, and critics were buzzing about the death of the Tour. Meanwhile, flying critters were buzzing around me and I was overdosing on bug dope to deal with the swarms along my route.

And just when the mosquitos are ready to be banished from my tour, the new echelon of faster, fitter deer flies take over the pursuit. My peloton through the woods includes dozens of buzzing, swarming flies drafting along behind me. They spin and dodge behind me awaiting a rest break or a hill.

These heat-crazed racers don't want to get ahead of me, they want a piece of me. At the slightest weak moment, they find their way into my helmet vents, into the arms of my jersey or behind my sun glasses. I would rather have a pack of doped-up Tour racers pass me and then leave me alone, than have these swirling, biting nuisances around.

At least the Tour racers have not started biting each other. Yet.

Contributed by
Rick MacMillan

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