Cedar Fever

Bike Noob is back from a Christmas hiatus. What, you didn’t notice? That’s okay — readership of this blog always drops way off during the winter months, when people who live in a four seasons climate tend to think less of cycling and more about keeping their walkways clear of snow.

Meanwhile, here in Central Texas we’re not in a biking mood, either. Cedar fever season has hit. The so-called Mountain Cedars (They’re really part of the juniper family) pollenate from mid-December until early March, and they hit their highest levels starting about now. The north wind blows pollen off the trees in clouds, and pollen counts run as much as 40 times higher than what is considered a high level.

Mountain cedar trees with the Austin skyline in the background.
Mountain cedar trees with the Austin skyline in the background.
Cedar tree pollenating. From http://www.hay-fever-relief.com/cedar-tree-pictures.html
Cedar tree pollenating. From http://www.hay-fever-relief.com/cedar-tree-pictures.html

My wife was the first to sense it. She started sniffling on Christmas Day, then came down with a low-grade headache. My symptoms hit the day after. Our beagle is miserable, spending every waking minute scratching, and sometimes even whimpering in agony. The vet says to give her Benadryl. Doesn’t help.

I was getting antsy after not riding for nine days (first too cold, then family in for Christmas), and I figured things couldn’t get any worse if I rode the bike than if I just stayed indoors, hacking and snorting. I was right. A 15-mile ride through the neighborhood got me reinvigorated, and the only side effect was that I spit more than usual (sorry for the unpleasant image). At least it cleared the sinuses — for about as long as I was on the bike.

Back home, I popped a Zyrtec, as did my wife. Zyrtec helps just a bit. But you’re not supposed to drink any booze with Zyrtec. I think a better course of action for me will be to stop the pill and dip into that bottle of Glenlivet I got for Christmas. It won’t ease the allergy symptoms, but I won’t care.


  1. Midland says

    Very nice. An adult beverage is always a good reward after a ride.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to reading your blog in 2014.

  2. says

    I missed you, baby! Glad to see you’re back. But those cedars – damn! I had no idea such a thing existed. This lasts until March, you say? God Bless!

  3. Tim says

    7 or 8 years ago I was miserable about this time of year…seemed to have gotten used to it…now I just sneeze a little and my eyes get a little itchy

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