Times Colonist

Bee wise when riding your bicycle


It was a blustery spring morning on Beach Drive. I was commuting to the University of Victoria from James Bay along the waterfront.

As I was pedalling uphill into a wind through the golf course, a bee the size of a lacrosse ball hit me in the ear.

OK, it was a little smaller than a lacrosse ball or it wouldn’t have become stuck there in the inner cup at the entrance to the ear canal.

I got off my bike in a deft combinatio­n move culminatin­g in me and the bicycle landing in an ignominiou­s tangle, the bee buzzing madly in my right ear through all this.

I extricated myself from the bicycle and stood hunched over, listing strongly to the right as I bashed my head with my hand hoping to dislodge the bee without goading it into a raging, stinging frenzy.

It eventually gave up and left but, not without delivering a parting shot of bee venom.

I sat there for a while, a bit stunned from selfinflec­ted blows, wondering if it was time to go into anaphylact­ic shock. As nothing seemed to be happening, I took my chances and pedalled off to work looking like an over-the-hill boxer who habitually leads with his right ear.

My advice to other Bike to Work Week cyclists is to wear glasses, keep your mouth shut, and seriously consider wearing headphones even if they are only plugged into your armpit.

Kayak shops have some really deluxe nose clips worthy of considerat­ion if you don’t want bugs up your nose, but you will have to open your mouth occasional­ly to breathe.

You can duct-tape the holes in your helmet to keep wasps out but it will get hot in there.

And I recommend keeping your elbows down if you open up the pit zips in your jacket. Tom Hukari Victoria

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