Saturday, September 1, 2012

Skirting disaster

So... I no longer think skirts are perfect for cycling.
My usual outfit of leggings, a skirt, a light wool under layer and then more layers served me very well over the kilometers... until two weeks ago.

To make a short story short, a bee flew up my skirt. And was trapped.

It couldn't fly off very easily, so it panicked and stung me on the upper thigh (thank goodness for small mercies).

I felt a sharp pain and peeled back the skirt to see the bee and brush it away.

Then, I pulled over on the side of the road near a cafe to await any further reactions. It was my first bee sting in memory.

Luckily, I am not allergic to bees. I cycled the remaining 30k home without incident.

The next day the sting puffed up over half my leg and has been itching like crazy for two weeks now!

Stupid freaking bee.

I'm nervous to wear my skirts again, but leggings are still awesome. Has this happened to anyone else? I'd like to be able to blame some other factor than my skirt.


  1. It's just a freak accident. I've had a bee stuck between my upper arm and torso and it stung me on my arm. Can't do anything about it (notice I wasn't wearing a skirt). I cycle a lot and this has only happened to me once. So, you should definitely not quit wearing skirts. Keep riding!

    1. Thanks Wilfred! This is reassuring... I will keep riding. :)

  2. I reckon to get stung around once a year, although not deliberately and I don't wear skirts either. Fortunately I don't get allergic reactions, although in this post - Stung into action I did mention that it was sore for a couple of days.

    I have recently acquired a cycle cape - but bees and wasps tend not to fly much in the rain. I would stick with what you feel comfortable in.

    1. Once a year!! Oh, but from your blog it looks like you are often in verdant bucolic settings, home to picturesque wildflowers and bees (wasps).
      An Australian guy told me to spread honey on my sting to alleviate the swelling and itch. As I was making my leg super-sticky, I suddenly realized that he might have been teasing me. Do you have any tips?

    2. My only tip - is too cycle a bit further - normally that distracts me. Although yesterday I got bitten by an ant and the pain outlasted the ride. It's gone today though

  3. Did you make sure the stinger is not stuck inside your leg? The stinger often breaks, especially when the bee is trapped. You can remove stingers with a small vacuum pump. Try not to squeeze it, as it may release more poison (although it's probably too late now anyway).
    Try Azaron, it really helps reducing the itchy feeling.
    I can't remember ever being stung by a bee, but I have been stung several times by wasps. I think the itchy feeling lasted for a week. All of them got trapped under my shirt, not much you can do about it.

    Just wait until you see a European hornet, suddenly bees and wasps are cute compared to those beasts :P

  4. don't blame the skirt. i've been stung by bees while wearing shorts too. and i wasn't even in motion at the time!

  5. ...what you really need is this neat "thigh helmet" I've designed for just such incidents. Guaranteed to reduce bee stings by 85%. It only costs $50, a small price to pay, if even one thigh can be saved...