Midges, live track and thank you

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
NoodleJam
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Midges, live track and thank you

Postby NoodleJam » 17 May 2015, 11:51pm

So I start my LeJoG on Thursday with the train to Penzance.

Before I set off, I've got a few final questions and a statement.

Will the midges have started biting in Scotland when I arrive on 28th May, I seem to be particularly enjoyable feast for many mosquitoes/ midges, so I need to ask. I have some of the well-recommended Avon skin so soft spray which I use on camping trips, but I don’t want to take a large bottle, so do I really need it? I’m not camping only B&Bing.

I would like to keep friends and family abreast of my ride. I have set up a blog and have a garmin that should live track the ride, however I’ve not had much success using LiveTrack. Can anyone recommend a suitable iOS live tracking app?

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to the people on this forum. The various streams of helpful advice have been invaluable to what I hope to be an enjoyable and delightful ride from one end of the country to the other. THANK YOU ALL.
Cosmos Mariner: Destination unknown
www.cosmosmariner.co.uk

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Paulatic
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby Paulatic » 18 May 2015, 8:06am

Midgies shouldn't be a real problem end of May. They don't become horrid until mid June IMO. hope I'm not being optimistic as I'm spending a week in Tyndrum first week of June.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

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helenheart
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby helenheart » 18 May 2015, 8:18am

Skin so soft - With the chance of sounding too obvious - could you decant the product into a small travel size bottle? It doesn't have to be a mister if you can't find one, but do check for water tightness first, the cheaper ones can fail.

juice
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby juice » 18 May 2015, 11:14am

I did lejog after the midges were out, and didn't find them a problem at all. If you were camping that would be another issue. You won't be many days in the highlands so will only need a tiny bit of SSS anyway. The only thing that was annoying was midges collecting in my helmet!

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Mick F
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby Mick F » 18 May 2015, 3:15pm

The midges are prevalent in the summer, not really the spring, and they aren't a bother at all if you go up the Old A9 via Pitlochry to Inverness instead of going up via A82 and Glencoe/Fort William etc.

They are a W Scotland (big) problem, not really an E Scotland problem.

We lived in Scotland for six years after we married, and never heard of them. Ten years later, we moved up from England to W Scotland and that is when we found out about them. :shock:
Having toured (cycled and driven) the whole of Scotland over the last 40odd years, I am happy to state that it's a W Scottish problem.
Mick F. Cornwall

windysmithy
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby windysmithy » 18 May 2015, 7:31pm

the little flippers have started biting in Devon, so skinsosoft for that bit if i were you. might pay to have another bottle or to for later...

NoodleJam
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby NoodleJam » 18 May 2015, 9:09pm

Thank you all. I will decant a small amount into a little bottle... for Devon!
Cosmos Mariner: Destination unknown
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tojjer
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby tojjer » 19 May 2015, 10:46am

Good luck, enjoy it, but most of all, stay safe.

tojjer
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby tojjer » 19 May 2015, 10:47am

And what's the link for the blog?

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Mick F
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby Mick F » 19 May 2015, 1:25pm

windysmithy wrote:the little flippers have started biting in Devon .........
I'm sure they are, just like they're doing here too.

In W Scotland during the summer, the air is black with them. You can hardly breathe for them when you whizz downhill through the swarms. You'll need eyewear and be wiping the blighters off your legs and arms by the handful.

No fun at all.
Mick F. Cornwall

Tangled Metal
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby Tangled Metal » 19 May 2015, 1:56pm

Midges seem to be worse in the west of Scotland but they are in the east too. There are a few species of biting midge in Scotland and I believe they occur in different areas. The ones in the west are the most pernicious hence the view they are bad there and not so bad in the east.

The other thing to bear in mind is the repellent you use. This is only anecdotal evidence but it comes from myself and a few different friends from different activities. The midges are repelled better by different repellents in different areas. It is some years since i last went to Scotland north of Glasgow so I have forgotten the areas and repellents. IIRC SSS works well with the midges in the west and others like autan in the east. The SSS is not actually a repellent as such more of a barrier to the midges biting. They tend to land and get stuck without biting. If you are covering your skin with SSS you will end up covered in midges stuck to the stuff. Or at least that was what i found.

The other thing is test the repellent on a small patch of skin before using it properly. I had a Nikwax repellent that I used and it caused a bad reaction with swollen lumps which I found out to be urticaria (hives). Basically that is where the body's immune system is triggered to go into overdrive attacking your skin causing these nasty welts. As soon as I took a shower and got the stuff off it calmed down inside of an hour only to come on again when I used it again. These are all chemicals and anyone can react badly. I had never had any reaction to anything other than a mild reaction to bold washing powder before that so was not expecting it.

End of May/first week in June IME has been the best week for weather in western Scotland in the highlands and coastal areas. The midges are not fully awake then but there will be some. You can have a full week without really seeing any midges then one camp out you have a real swarm. That happened near Bridge of orchy (IIRC) to us. the night and evening there was nothing. A few on the walk back from a pub and that was it. The next morning we all woke in our tents to see a black cloud silhouetted against the bright morning sun outside our tent with the accompanying hum. Seriously bad swarm. We had to pack all our kit in the tent and last minute (with all the hoods and long sleeves we had pulled up tight to cover as much skin as possible) throw all our kit into the car. Then a fast dropping of our tents, stuffing into the car and driving as fast as possible away. Then a bit along the road we stopped and packed the tent and car properly. When we did that we found we had folded a mass of midges into the tent flysheets and had a pile of dead midges where we poured them off our tents. i am not kidding. That was something like June 4th.

There used to be a website that recorded the midge levels around Scotland then used these figures to predict midge levels in a kind of midge weather forecast. They had these fancy midge catcher devices put up in hotels and other places right around the place. Each night the hotel owners would weigh the midges caught and dropped into the storage container. This went to a central research team at a Scottish University who then gave out a prediction for the next few days by region. If this is still up and running you could do with finding it out. When i tried to use them they were accurate.

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Paulatic
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby Paulatic » 19 May 2015, 3:04pm

I agree SSS is just a barrier. Having been a hill shepherd for 30yrs in SW Scotland I've a wee bit experience with them.
I began by using Jungle Formula then stopped after witnessing it disfiguring plastic. I then used SSS for a number of years. One time I'd run out and in desperation I tried Virgin olive oil. It works just as well so I've used it ever since. Also tried mixing some citronella into it which helps but be careful how much you put in. I once was a bit generous with it and by hell it stings!

You can buy licks for livestock which have Garlic in them they are supposed to deter biting insects. Maybe eating raw Garlic everyday might help.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

https://stcleve.wordpress.com/category/lejog/

bogmyrtle
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby bogmyrtle » 19 May 2015, 10:03pm

It's been too cold for midges so far. You should be fine.
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.

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helenheart
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby helenheart » 19 May 2015, 10:32pm

Olive oil for midge control - I can believe it...... i wonder if coconut oil would work (non flavored) as I will be carrying some anyway. Anyone????

NoodleJam
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Re: Midges, live track and thank you

Postby NoodleJam » 19 May 2015, 11:03pm

Ah yes sorry, the blog link:

http://www.thousand4thousand.co.uk
Cosmos Mariner: Destination unknown
www.cosmosmariner.co.uk