To the best of my knowledge there are 6 natural orifices on/in the human body where foreign objects and worse can gain access inside the body. The mouth is one of those. And so I say “it pays to keep your mouth shut”. While out riding the other morning I apparently took something in thru my mouth that didn’t agree with me. It caused me quite a lot of discomfort including a lot of nasty coughing. I don’t know for sure what it was but my guess is some “cotton” from cottonwood trees as it is that time of year and that nasty messy stuff is all over the place. Most everybody I know is in full agreement with me … we don’t like these messy trees. For about 2 to 3 weeks at this time of year it literally “snows” this white stuff and it is hard to avoid it while riding along. One can easily suck it up the nose, get it in the eyes, and, of course, in the mouth if the mouth is open. I am a mouth breather much of the time as I can’t breathe well thru my nose. This is a problem I have dealt with all my life.

cottonwood seeds

I am looking forward to this “snow” ending as I don’t like dealing with it. Of course, cottonwood trees are not the only concern out there. Swallowing insects is not something I relish either … not even if they are accompanied by my favorite condiment. (It might help though!) It is no fun having them go up inside the nose either. In case you hadn’t noticed it is pretty hard to close off the nose and prevent this from happening. Most definitely having a bug go up inside your nose will get your attention.
I never asked him but I assume Steve Greene (Trike Asylum blog) dresses like this:

Steve Greene bug protection

for a reason … and my guess is the reason is to keep out unwelcome guests. 🙂  Of course, maybe it is to keep the sun and wind off of his skin … or a combination of both. Steve, feel free to jump in here and straighten me out on this. Please correct me if I am wrong. (37 mph? I am impressed! Not bad for an old fart!)

Good for him if he can handle that garb, but I would be most miserable. I couldn’t breathe for starters and that is a pretty important matter. I need as much air movement on me as I can get. Even in 40 degree weather I could not stand to have clothing on me like that. So I guess I am stuck with dealing with bugs, cottonwood “cotton”, etc.

One of the guys I usually ride with is a “birder” (a person who has a considerable interest in birds and as a hobby studies them and observes them). A couple of years or so ago we were riding along and stopped so he could observe some birds. As I sat there waiting for him I happened to look upward just slightly. The next thing I knew I felt something in my mouth. Not knowing at that time what it was I spit it out and reached up with my hand to wipe my mouth. I brought my hand away from my mouth and noticed something white on my finger. If you haven’t figured it out yet I had just been the recipient of a gift from a bird flying over. Fortunately I had water with me and was able to rinse my mouth out quite well.

Right now you may be thinking that’s TMI (too much information). But hey, there has to be others out there with the same problem.

Mouth breathers … it is time to unite! 🙂

Just try not to let the bugs, etc. in.

Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (


  1. Trikin’ folks are now calling me the mummy. My response is FAST mummy. No bugs get into my body with this garb. Actually, the prime reason for the Mountain Hardware Way2Cool Bandana (aka: buff) is to keep my skin from burning during long hours in the full sun (more pronounced now on this 25 degree 700 seat). On my overland journeys, I grow a beard, which accomplishes the same end result, and it also allows me to breathe fully. This buff I’ve been wearing, called a rag by my cycling buddy Matt, does make breathing rather tough if I’m really cranking down the road – when I do speed runs, I need to pull it down to intake sufficient air to power the machine! With the beard, I am sometimes mistaken by the layperson as an old guy, thus I have remained hair free while not on tour so as not to project the wrong image of oldness (my beard, unlike the hair atop my head) is turning white, which leads to an “old guy” status amongst sightseers. Yep, whatever anyone thinks of my age, which really doesn’t matter anyway, I am having the time of my life on this Catrike, even if those max speed attempts are only unsustainable short bursts of utter raptuous bliss. I’ll take what I can get! Yee Haa … full speed ahead! Where’s the party?

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