When I was a snotty, spikey punk rocker growing up in Birmingham in the late 1970's I used to go to a nightclub called Barbarellas. On Friday and Saturday nights the place would be packed with Birmingham's renegade youth. Drinking and pogoing and the floor covered in broken glass and sweat and beer. At that time punks would spit at the bands while they were on stage to show that they were not stars but just another punk. The stage was only about two feet high so the lead singer would usually be within touching distance. Sometimes the gobbling got well out of hand and it would rain down on the band, you could see it arcing through the air as it was caught by the spot lights. I believe it was in Birmingham that the late, great Joe Strummer caught Hepatitis B when a sufferer gobbed on him while he was on stage.
I have been reminded of this a few times since I have started cycling.
I am writing this coughing and spluttering and suffering from a chest infection. Both my ears are blocked due to infection in my sinuses. While I was cycling in Mallorca, one rider with a heavy cold, thought it acceptable behaviour to blow his snot over everyone behind him. I caught this a couple of times and less than 48 hours later I had his cold. Which meant I missed the last day a cycling at the camp and then it turned into an infection which I have had to carry round Wales for four days.
There are some members of this club that expel snot, and spit back into the faces of riders behind them. I wouldn't expect chaps to have a large dandyish silk handkerchief tucked down their sleeve, but what about going to the back if you can't wipe it on your glove.
No names no pack drill but there is a Member who, while adroitly blocking one nostril, can expel snot with force, distance and direction to left or right. Never behind. Alleged to have brought down a passing pheasant outside of season.
"I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like. It's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good. I'd give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it." -- Pink Floyd, 'Bike'
Ah yes, now this is interesting since to snot a pheasant to death and then take it home to wipe, hang, pluck, draw, cook and eat is actually poaching. To be a following rider who picks up the dead bird it is not. It is collecting roadkill, which is a public duty as it clears the road of obstacles for other cyclists.
Sadly, some of our nasal decongesters specialise in forming aerosols. These are the bad ones as you cannot readily see or avoid the cloud of virus and/or bacteria laden droplets.
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