When our biking buddy Maree asked if we would like a face mask to use when cycling the Little River Rail Trail from Motukarara to Little River, we thought she was taking the piss.

Often, we see Asian’s wearing them around the cities and wondered if it was because of bad acne. Or to reduce pollution inhalation.

Her warning that the flying bugs would be in hordes along the edges of Te Waihora / Lake Ellesmere and Lake Forsyth warranted nostril and mouth entry points coverage. Otherwise, you ain’t gonna need carrot cake or a sausage roll reward from all the protein you would be sucking in.

Jeezus, she was bang on.

The black clouds swarming ahead were like those birds you see on National Geographic documentaries that twist and turn in dark shapes on a sunset evening in the sky. Except our clouds were just hovering from ground to three-five metres on the pathway we were riding along. And into.

By the zillions.

They are called the NZ Midge, or Lake Fly, or the Blind Mosquito because they look like a mossie, except they don’t bite … thankfully.

You felt them hit, they clung onto apparel, skin and hair and we have never in all our time that we have ridden bum on bike seat, ever encountered such an awe of protein like we did today.

The face mask worked … thankfully and we got to munch down cake and roll.

Before we had to repeat the experience to return the same way we had come!

The best of the worst now under out belt. And close to being in every orifice that wasn’t covered up!