So there I was, riding happily past huge bushes of wildflowers, enjoying the sunshine and beautiful day. I had just finished the section of the Sacramento-Davis ride that takes you alongside I-80 and I was alternating between grooving to the nature around me and freaking out at how much longer this stretch seems when you're not in a car.
I felt something hit my helmet. That's not true. I felt the distinct sensation of something hitting my scalp, despite the fact I was wearing a helmet. Something small -- but with detectable mass -- had managed to achieve the precise angle necessary to enter the air vent over the right side of my forehead and fling its tiny body against my somewhat larger one.
And once on such an intimate basis with me, he was in no mood to leave. Can't blame him, really.
I'm not a particularly fast cyclist, but it turns out I am a remarkably fast bee extractor. The instant I felt the impact, I knew it was a bee. Maybe it was the humongous bushes of wildflowers alongside the path, or maybe it was some innate ability to recognize Apis Mellifera, but there was no doubt in my mind about the identity of my new cranial visitor.
This is not the actual bee in question. Well, it could be, I suppose. For all I know, the bee that hit me in the head could very well have had a career in modeling before he met me. This seems unlikely, so let's say for the sake of moving things along that it is a different but similar bee.
By the time you could say, "Oh God, I hope it's not Africanized," I had my helmet off and was whomping it against my still-pedaling leg to dislodge Beezer (as I have now decided to name him). My efforts to jar him loose came to nothing, unless you count dislodging the clip-on blinky from the back of the helmet and sending it scattering across the trail as an accomplishment.
Finally, I had to stop, get off the bike and get serious. In that moment, though, I realized that I had no idea of how to get rid of this bee. He wasn't letting go and I wasn't reaching in there to get him. It was then, dear readers, that I thought of you and how much you might enjoy a photo of this merry encounter with nature. I abandoned the cause of dislodging the bee and reached into my pocket to retrieve my iPhone.
Beezer, I now realize, is a very shy bee. He had no interest in being photographed for my blog and took his leave at once. Come to think of it, it is nearly impossible that he is the same bee who posed for the Wikipedia photo above. Or, if he is, then the experience left him determined not to repeat it. I have heard such things about modeling jobs and photographers and I am prepared to believe them.
The departure of Beezer did not deter me from documenting the event. I snapped a photo anyway, using a handy stand-in for the petulant star. Audience, please note that in this particular production, the part of Beezer is played by Nearby Wildflower Blossom.