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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


August 25, 1999

CROP SPRAYER

I have a "worst 10" list of things that I hate to happen to me while on the road. Mesquite Thorns and Broken Spokes are the top two. Riding through agricultural areas is up in the top five. Every time I go through an agricultural area, I sometimes get sick for a day or two because of the pesticide chemicals. Well, today wasn't my day.

Between Clarksdale and Greenwood, Mississippi, I rode through Cotton Country. Large fields of cotton were on both sides of the highway. In the air flying over the fields, was a bi-wing plane. It was going from one field to the next on both sides of the highway in front of me. I was watching it quite carefully so that I could judge it's path. I wanted to try and ride through it's path when it was no longer above the road and when the sprayer nozzles were turned off.

I kept my eyes on it for about a mile. Just to be sure, I stopped a couple of times hoping that the pilot had completed their run over the fields. When I got to within a quarter of a mile from the field, I sped up as fast as I could.

The plane had just gone over the highway in front of me and was getting ready to turn around to make another pass. I thought that I was in the clear but I wasn't. I had forgotten to take account of the winds. Even with all of the effort that I made to avoid any contact with the herbicide spray, I got caught in some of it. Once I got passed the fields, I stopped to use most of my water bottles to wash the spray off my face and arms. I even took the time to change my t-shirt. Hopefully, I got most of it off me.




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