I was down at Joe’s last night around closing, getting a second opinion on the crunchy sound coming from my rear hub.
“I think it’s more of a clanking than a crunch Juancho, bring it back in the morning.”
With that settled, we eased into a couple of chairs and then eased a couple of Camel Lights into ourselves. The rider pictured above, a young man named Miles I believe, stoically endured the second-hand smoke, shiny smooth legs AND arms twitching for action.
The Thursday night “Joe’s to Killearn” ride was commencing.
One by one riders lit upon the grass in front of the shop. There they waited, arms crossed, poised delicately on the surface. Being a scientist, I studied their physiology, their delicate builds that suspend them just above the surface of the road. The articulated thoracic region displaying their organs externally. These creatures are built to go fast along smooth surfaces, antennae scanning for threats, nibbling near invisible protozoa for propulsion.
As they swooped off, grouching and grousing into the night, I felt a twinge of sympathy and understanding in my heart. The type of riding you prefer is not so much a choice, but a beautiful expression of evolutionary will.
Pond skaters have keen eyesight and are visual hunters. When a dead or drowning insect is spotted, the pond skater swings down its long, sharp rostrum and pierces the victim. Saliva is injected and proteolytic enzymes begin digesting the tissues. The partially digested broth is then sucked up.
Most pond skaters are wary and difficult to catch. When disturbed, they scatter in random directions. There are no restrictions concerning the collecting and keeping of aquatic insects. For this reason, and because they are so easy to keep, they make ideal creatures for classroom study.
Like all bugs, I prefer to just stomp the shit out of them, when I can catch them.