US Open of Mountain Biking

My Lyme Disease Story - Part 1

The 2006 US Open of Mountain Biking. This event is a very memorable time in my life, and not just because of the photos I captured on this trip.

At some point on this trip I was bitten by a tiny deer tick (I didn't even notice) and contracted Lyme Disease as well as several other nasty infections including Bartonella and Babesia. 15 years later and I'm still dealing with the consequences.

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, so please, take the time to educate yourself about Lyme. It's the fastest growing epidemic in the United States with the CDC now reporting close to half a million new cases every year, a number that many experts still feel is far below the real number due in part to the fact that there still isn't an accurate reliable test for the disease. It blows my mind that we were able to come up with fairly reliable tests and a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus in less than a year, but there still isn't adequate testing or treatment for Lyme 45 years after it was identified in this country.

As mountain bikers and photographers we spend a lot of time outside, and we owe it to ourselves to be Lyme Aware. Lyme exists in every single state and province, in fact the only place it hasn't been found on this planet is Antarctica. Lyme is found in forests, grasslands and even beaches, and is carried by other insects besides just ticks. There are a few studies confirming the existence of Borellia Burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria) in Adult Female and even Nymph mosquitos harvested from larva. This means female mosquitos can pick up the bacteria from infected blood and transmit that bacteria to their larvae, which can then hatch and theoretically transmit the disease to people. Scary stuff!