I decided that I wanted to do some mountain biking. I pulled the bike out from under the front porch, where it had spent all summer, unused. So, of course, now that it has turned cold, I want to ride it. In all fairness, it was really just too hot to ride it up here this summer.
It was covered with spider webs, dead spiders, and cat hair. Both tires were flat, which was expected. There was no air left in the compressor and we don’t have a generator that will power it.
We do have a bicycle tire pump, the old manual kind. I tried it, but it was broken. Since I know next to nothing at all about tire pumps, I decided to take it apart to find out what was wrong with it. After pulling it completely apart, the problem revealed itself: instead of sending air into the tire, the pump was allowing air to escape through cracked plastic.
It seemed easy enough to fix. I had some extra strength RTV sealant left over from resealing the valve cover gasket on the Jeep. I sealed up the cracks. Now it was time for the hard part: letting it set until the RTV was cured, which is somewhere between 12 and 24 hours.
This morning, after it was completely cured, I tried it out. It appeared to be working. Halfway through pumping up the front tire, I realized that I had put it back together incorrectly. The pump started sucking air from the tire instead of pumping into the tire.
It took a few tries, but I got it back together correctly. While inflating the back tire, I pushed down on the tire with my hand. I was immediately rewarded with a severe stinging sensation.
It has been cold for a while now. Wasp and bees aren’t very plentiful today. I haven’t seen a wasp in weeks. The bees only come out when the temp gets warm in the afternoons now. However, I thought I would look just to make sure.
There was no wasp; no bees; no anything. I thought maybe I had just got a splinter. No, it was whelping up just like a sting.
The best I can figure, I had to have been stung by the stinger of a long dead wasp. There is a reason for my hypothesis. First, there was a lot of debris from the front porch on the tire as well as the whole bike. The bike was under the front porch. There were wasp nests over the front porch this summer. I think a wasp died, for whatever reason wasps die, and its stinger came to rest in the spider webs on the bike. It was just my bad luck that I chose the exact resting place of the deceased wasp’s stinger to test the air pressure in the tire.
Is it possible to be stung by a long dead wasp? I did a little research. Yes, it is possible. Someone on the interwebs hypothesized that a stinger, with venom sac attached, could act just like a hypodermic needle if the stinger were to penetrate the skin and the venom were squeezed out of the sac.
Makes sense to me, since that’s exactly what I think happened.
My hand still hurts, and is slightly numb at the same time. That sting was over 12 hours ago. I’m not sure when the creature to which the stinger was originally attached died, but his sting is still alive.