The infamous beachfront bee encounter: The sequel

FADE IN

Open on establishing shot from offshore. Camera pans across water, shoreline and beachfront, zooming in on a lone bicyclist riding along the beach. Just then, a large commercial jet roars overhead; he’s beneath the runway at LAX.

He’s two-thirds of the way through what will be a 45-mile ride from Westwood to Hermosa Beach and back. He rides with ease, comfortable on his bike and confident in his abilities, despite fighting the winds that had been at his back on the way down.

Suddenly, something appears to mar this placid scene. A swirling, almost ethereal mass blocks his path, looking like electrons orbiting a massive invisible nucleus.

CUT TO CLOSE UP

We see his concern as the muscles in his face tighten, his eyes hidden by riding glasses. He’s seen this once before.

Bees.

CUT TO FIRST PERSON PERSPECTIVE

The swarm pulsates directly over the bikeway, completely blocking his path.

CUT TO CLOSE UP

A brief moment of fear crosses his face as he recalls his previous encounter with a similar, though much larger, swarm. It did not end well. Though he has no memory of the actual accident, he recalls the ambulance ride, followed by two nights in the ICU, and an extended rehab which is only now reaching fruition.

As he considers his options, he realizes it’s already too late, as bees envelope his head and body. His expression shifts to one of determination.

He’s committed now.

CUT TO SIDE VIEW

But has he learned anything from his previous encounter?

Before, he tried had tried to speed through as quickly as possible, ending up covered in bees…then, nothing, until waking up with an oxygen mask over his face.

This time, he will do things differently. Recalling the bees that had bounced that bounced off his glasses and crawled across his face last time, he leans forward as far as possible, lowering his head onto his handlebars to minimize exposure.

At the same time, he purposely slows down and pedals steadily.

ZOOM IN

He rides cautiously as bees bounce off his shoulders and helmet.

Finally, we see the swarm thin as he reaches the other side. He gradually slows down even further, riding his bike at a crawl before pausing to examine himself.

The news is good. Only a few stray bees have hitched a ride; a quick brush with a gloved hand sends them on their way.

A look of relief crosses his face. This time, he has survived.

He relaxes as he picks up speed. After this, the rest of his ride will be a breeze — though he will frequently swat at his back and shoulders on the way home, shooing away a host of imaginary insects.

And once again, not one sting.

FADE TO BLACK

………

Metro considers lifting the ban on bikes, but limiting the number that can use it. Don’t they know the whole point is to encourage people to use their services (and yes, bicyclists are people, too)?  A local rider asks if anyone can diagnose his pain in the butt. San Diego releases the pedicab driver without charges in the death of a tourist. Once again, Oregon demonstrates why it’s a cyclists paradise, as the local AAA extends their services to cyclists. Another example from the Department of DIY, as an Oklahoma physician donates bike signage to the county. Virginia Beach cyclists push for changes after a local rider is killed. South Africa considers including bikes in their transportation networks. San Francisco police reach out after a local cyclist and his 4-year old son are struck by a hit-and-run driver. Finally, Enci and Stephen Box are looking for bike volunteers to assist in making their latest film with virtually no carbon footprint.

One comment

  1. WHEW! Thanks goodness!

    Bees and motorists. Gotta teach ’em both to share the road.

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