So, about those spiders...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    So, about those spiders...

    I love a good night ride, everything is different in the dark. Sometimes, like last night, I'll even go for a night ride alone.

    I'm pretty sure I ran through 40 or so spider webs. I've never had a problem, so I've always assumed the spiders aren't a big deal. Anybody know whether there are poisonous spiders that build webs? I've always heard the poisonous ones don't spin webs.

    I'm in North Texas, if that makes a difference.

  2. #2
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    After my 5 a.m. rides in coastal Georgia, my bike and I are coated with spider webs and the occasional spider that didn't bail after having her web destroyed. There is usually a web every 50 feet of trail so they are unavoidable. By far, the most common spider I encounter is the Golden silk orb-weaver, sometimes called a writing spider. According to Wikipedia, "The venom of the golden silk orb-weaver is potent but not lethal to humans. It has a neurotoxic effect similar to that of the black widow spider; however, its venom is not nearly as powerful. The bite causes local pain, redness, and blisters that normally disappear within a 24-hour interval. In rare cases, it might trigger allergic reactions and result in respiratory troubles (in asthmatics) or fast-acting involuntary muscle cramps. As the genus possesses relatively strong chelicerae, the bite could leave a scar on hard tissue (such as fingers)."

    If the spider is big enough for me to feel them crawling on my neck or face, I'll stop to brush it off. I don't want a big one biting me near my throat or mouth. Little ones I'm not as worried about.

  3. #3
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    I just looked at the Wikipedia article, those look like what I'm usually seeing out there. I guess no worries then, it doesn't sound much worse than an ant bite.

  4. #4
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    Zach, The ones that are around here (N. Texas) and you encounter on the trails are not a biggie. They are venomous, as all spiders, but other than a bite (or several sometimes) close to what an ant would give you I would say brush them if you feel it but don't sweat it (you will see me anyway jumping from time to time ;-) )
    PS: they itch like crazy for a few days; now i have one in my collarbone from a Sunday night ride at Northshore!
    BBW. MS, RD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto View Post
    Over here, the spiders are not so much of a problem, we are more concerned with the Drop Bears.
    Come on Pitto, how can we maintain Australia's reputation for fearsome creatures, spiders, snakes and sharks if you treat them with such complacency. I mean sure its not as if Funnel-webs or Redbacks are known for jumping on unsuspecting cyclists, but Zach isn't to know that.

    You are right about Drop Bears though. Remarkable creatures

  6. #6
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    Not sure if it's the same species but we have similar spiders in my neck of the woods. I've always found it amazing how they can build webs that sometimes span 50 ft. or more. Generally though they only seem to be a problem in areas that don't see a lot of use. I have run into the "every 50' web phenomenon " before though. It is a true PITA. My major concern is to just keep the web/spiders off my face. There are a couple school's of thought on how to do that but at night the webs can be hard to see, especially at speed.

    You can try the "stick method" and whip a hole in the web but you have to almost stop to get it good. For the most part though I try not to worry about it as long as I can keep the buggers off my exposed flesh. If I'm in an area that is particularly bad I'll place a small curved stick into the front of my helmet so that it extends out over my face. It may look strange but it works on keeping the webs off your face ( which is most important ). Anyway, for the most part I'll try to pick the least dense area of the web and just ride through.

  7. #7
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    Spiders can be a pain, handy to ride in a group and have a lead out man

    Over here, the spiders are not so much of a problem, we are more concerned with the Drop Bears.

    G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitto View Post
    Over here, the spiders are not so much of a problem, we are more concerned with the Drop Bears.
    Come on Pitto, how can we maintain Australia's reputation for fearsome creatures, spiders, snakes and sharks if you treat them with such complacency. I mean sure its not as if Funnel-webs or Redbacks are known for jumping on unsuspecting cyclists, but Zach isn't to know that.

    You are right about Drop Bears though. Remarkable creatures

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    Thanks find_bruce, I hadn't heard that Vegemite could be used to deter Drop bears. I've (luckily) only ever had a couple of glimpses, but they scare the F out of me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BBW View Post
    Zach, The ones that are around here (N. Texas) and you encounter on the trails are not a biggie.
    PS: they itch like crazy for a few days; now i have one in my collarbone from a Sunday night ride at Northshore!
    Good to know, thanks for the heads up. I've only done a night ride at Northshore once, during the HOW 100 last year. Does it stay pretty busy at night, or are you usually the only group out there?

    Usually I go to IDB or knob hills, and pretty much always the only one on the trail.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by find_bruce View Post

    You are right about Drop Bears though. Remarkable creatures
    Wow, those Drop Bears sound dangerous! Kind of similar to the Chupacabras we have in Texas!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by find_bruce View Post
    Come on Pitto, how can we maintain Australia's reputation for fearsome creatures, spiders, snakes and sharks if you treat them with such complacency. I mean sure its not as if Funnel-webs or Redbacks are known for jumping on unsuspecting cyclists, but Zach isn't to know that.
    BTW, I just finished reading "In a Sunburned Country", a travel novel about AU. Pretty fascinating stuff. The author talks a lot about all the weird ways you folks can die over there, but never mentioned the Drop Bears.

  13. #13
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    Nothing like a bit of light hearted banter thru the forums

    But agree 100%, spiders suck. And so do Snakes for that matter, Thankfully Winter has arrived and the snakes can get lost for the next 20 weeks.

    Chupacabra's look nasty. Looks like Aliens have been interfering with the local Chameleon population

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZachTX View Post
    Good to know, thanks for the heads up. I've only done a night ride at Northshore once, during the HOW 100 last year. Does it stay pretty busy at night, or are you usually the only group out there?

    Usually I go to IDB or knob hills, and pretty much always the only one on the trail.
    Northshore can be busy during winter on certain days when is dark earlier... now its not (and even less the west side). I used to go to IDB and JB at night when I was living in Denton and I would be the only soul there
    Hit me with a PM if you want to go to NS one of this days.. I'm in DORBA too but not often
    Cheers
    BBW. MS, RD

  15. #15
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    Had a near full face webbing tonight ( think dead center bulls-eye ) . Luckily for me a localized rain shower had dampened the trail enough to slow me to a crawl. Need I say, wet rocks/roots/sticks are real buzz killers at night. I just happened to glance up at the right time to see it. I was headed right toward it dead center with momma spider sitting passively right in the center ( which I will say was lined up perfectly with my face ).
    I used the classic head-tilt-duck move. Oddly enough when I came though on the return trip I almost did it again..

  16. #16
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    I almost got one in the face too. Screamed like a little girl when I hit the brakes and the rear tire started to lift. I thought for sure I was going to endo into that thing.

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