Sometimes it comes in mysterious ways.
My new stimulus happens to be the insects. Bugs are everywhere at Banner Pits and at Lake Ahquabi. The heat and high humidity have made for a massive bumper crop of flying critters that move in packs and have social networks designed to attack on every hairpin turn, switchback or turnaround. They wait and strike. They track and pursue. They follow and nag. I'm not really talking about mosquitoes - not too worry, it's a bumper crop for them as well - but I am talking about odd sorts of flies and bugs that swarm you and bite.
I got frustrated to the point yesterday that I started swatting and when that didn't work, I started riding harder and faster. That still didn't work. So I upped the speed to full out XC race speed and even tossed in some wildly crazy and out of control speed. I was able to get the critters to stay away riding like that. Two downed trees at Banner and some branches (I guess there was a big storm on Saturday night while I was up in Duluth) just about did me in with the creatures. Stopping to hoist my bike over these, the critters swooped in fast and furious to attack me yet again. I got to practice hopping on the bike and powering up to full steam intervals to shake them.
Not bad for a stimulus, but I think it is time to dig out the bug spray in hopes of gaining a few seconds out in the jungle at Banner. Or, I'll just plan on every ride in the woods being a full out intensity ride this month...