Apparently, bicycles are a hotspot for creepy crawlies. It rained heavily yesterday, and just as I was leaving for work this morning, I noticed a snail curled up on the handlebars. I tried gently lifting it off, but it was glued on tightly – and I had no desire to inadvertently deprive it of its home.
Not for the first time, I was late, and so I thought I’d leave the poor creature alone – hoping that it would not object to forced relocation five miles down the road into a more rural setting. How wrong I was.
Almost as soon as I had set off, my passenger decided it was time to stir, and unhurriedly began to emerge from its shell. Trying not to attract the attention of passers by, I hissed at it to go back to sleep – I was terrified that if it rode bareback on the handlebars it would dry itself out from the wind rushing past, and that I would then have to deal with a shriveled and antagonised mollusc rather than a moist but good-natured one.
It made its way around the handlebars for a while, googly tentacle-things poking around suspiciously, and eventually crawled wretchedly onto the underside where I couldn’t see it. I wondered briefly why I could no longer switch gear, but was decidedly happier nonetheless – the vile creature was out of sight and out of mind.
On the final stretch of my route, another being (I shall charitably label it an insect) with more legs that I have fingers and toes emerged from the gear-switch casing, and began menacingly patrolling its newfound territory. At this point, my hand (having had quite enough excitement for one day) spontaneously disconnected itself from the handlebars, and no amount of persuasion was enough to reunite the two for the remainder of the trip.
When I finally reached my destination, I found that the snail had lodged itself behind the gear stick – the perfect refuge if ever you find yourself being carried across town against your wishes on a bicycle. A lesson to us all.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.