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A tasty commute
OK, I've said since the start of this five-blog series on the senses that commuting by bike instead of car makes me more in tune with my environment.I smell more, hear more and feel more on two wheels than on four.But I have to admit, that theory breaks down a little bit when taste is the sense in question, because, for the most part, stuff isn't - or shouldn't be - flying in my mouth as I pedal along. Generally speaking.But there are a few tastes I wouldn't have experienced if I had been trapped behind glass. Most of 'em, I have to admit, were memorable for their unpleasantness.Like road spray. In any decent rain shower, the biggest concern isn't the rain coming down, but the wet coming up. And no matter how waterproof you think you might be, you're bound to get a little spray in the mouth. And you have no idea where that water has been. Or that asphalt.On the slightly more palatable side of the precip spectrum is snow. I know, I know, it's full of chemicals and acid and whatnot, but I can't help but ride with my tongue out when the big flakes are coming down.I've also tasted the beer and brats occasionally offered to me - though not frequently enough - by game-day tailgaters and balcony partiers. I dunno what it is about a seemingly harmless, slow, strange old guy on a bike that makes folks want to share their foodstuffs, but who am I to argue?I've tasted my own bile. At least, I think it was my bile. Have a vehicle almost broadside you at 30 mph and see if you don't throw up in your mouth a little.And more than anything else, I've tasted bugs. Not by choice, of course, and I'd never use them as a reason to commute by bike. However, they are an occasional hazard. I'm no connoisseur, but I find most to be totally flavorless. Of course, it helps that most bugs I snack on are small; it's not like I'm rolling around, shoveling Junebugs in my craw. And, from what I understand, they're almost 100 percent protein.However, I will caution that lightning bugs are just nasty. Tasting, that is. A couple of times I've found myself trying to send a glowbug back out the way he came, only to find myself choking it down anyway. They actually taste just about like you'd expect: chalky, with a big of a chemical aftertaste.But it's nothing that an offered brat and a beer can't overcome.