Spiders & Bikes

21 10 2011

What is it about spiders and bicycles? Do bike frames also make good frames for webs? Is that why I’m constantly finding so many of my arachnid friends hanging off of two wheeled transport?

This spider was busy spinning a web from the brake housing...

...to the grips...

...to the shifter...

I’ve seen bikes with dozens of spiders hanging on. I’ve seen spider eggs hatch and hundreds of tiny spiders burst out of a random crevice in the bike. I’ve had to gently distract arachnophobic riders while I moved an 8 legged stowaway to safety.

I counted 5 spiders on this bike, as I tuned it up.

I don’t get why some people freak out so much about spiders – I think they’re pretty cool. But I’ve seen it happen enough times that I won’t mention it when I find spiders on someone else’s bike, lest they become so afraid of encountering a spider on their steed that they give up cycling altogether. I just quietly move the spiders outside and keep on working.

Spiders like all bikes - they don't discriminate.

It’s not just idle bikes they latch onto, either. I remember one time I was out riding on Highway 16 with a friend when I discovered a large spider hanging behind my handlebar, spinning in the wind like some miniature practitioner of some extreme sport. I don’t know where it came from, but I stopped and climbed down the ditch to deposit it in a safe place, much to the worry of my companion, who thought I’d blown a tire.

Spiderman, hitching a ride on Porta-Bike.

In the past week, I’ve noticed way more than usual, on maybe half the bikes I’ve worked on. It doesn’t really bother me, it just makes me curious. After all, it could be worse – yesterday I saw I bike who’s owner was complaining that a magpie had destroyed the saddle – and you know what? With what I saw and what she told me, I tend to agree!

Has anybody else noticed spiders’ fondness for bicycles?

Ironic epilogue: After publishing this post, I went out to get a snack, where a little kid in a Spiderman costume knocked over my bike.

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5 responses

21 10 2011
Angela

i. hate. SPIDERS! and it’s ALL bikes they take a liking to. which is why, before i so much as move my pedals, i pick up my bike (this is much easier now that i’m not riding my vintage bike) and bounce it up and down with as much force as i can muster, thereby dislodging any and all arachnid menace that may have set up camp. don’t even ask what kind of ritualistic nonsense i go through before i drive my car.

21 10 2011
tuckamoredew

I have noticed this many times before and the spiders seem to be present in large numbers this Autumn. A week or so ago I went into the grocery store and when I came out minutes later a single strand of webbing had been strung from brake lever to brake lever. I found the industrious little creature and removed it to a nearby tree. I have also had the exact experience you mention with the spider clinging on for dear life, necessitating a quick stop to safely remove it. I do like little spiders (especially the black and white jumpers) but when they are bigger than a nickel I start getting a little creeped out.

22 10 2011
ridon

what?! this is news to me! i hate spiders. i also leave my bike outside, that worries me. one of those leaf-like bugs on my basket and i freaked out! i thought it would jump off if i moved my bike, but it didn’t. i ended up swatting it onto the ground. surprisingly it survived.

23 10 2011
Tanya

I don’t mind a spider making a living- I mean, a guy’s gotta make a home and eat somewhere. I would just prefer they not take up residences on my two wheeled transportation. Although can you really blame them? I mean, bikes ARE pretty amazing- everyone wants to ride them… spiders included.

25 10 2011
Timoohz

Some spiders climb to the top of the tree/building/bike and “kite” themselves out of there. Saves a lot of spider-size steps. And with 8 legs that’s really a lot of them! 🙂

Besides: A rolling stone gathers no moss – a bike should not gather spiders! You’re supposed to ride them! ;-P

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