The first runner on the trail has the duty of clearing all the spider webs that stretch across the trial. I am that person. I am generally on the trail by 5:00 am (sometimes earlier). I’ve only had one experience running into a full spider web and it was a little traumatic. I was running down a slight incline and jumping through rocks and then I glanced up to check the trail…
I couldn’t stop and ran right through the web. The spider was in the center of the web and I proceeded to have a full freakout. It included arm flapping and screaming.
Usually there are only a few strands strung across the single-track trail hedged in by plants. The spiders are long gone, so I just hold up my arm to remove the web and continue bounding down the trail.
There are few runner’s who are out that early, at least where I live. I found some other runner’s blogs on this very subject who do have to deal with the full web across the trail with spidy attached. They find a branch about three feet in length with branches out like a fan. They hold this up in front of them as they run.
Over this last weekend, as I was attending to my spider web duty, I was thinking about why and how the spiders string their webs across the trail or build their entire web out there for someone (animal or human) to rip apart.
The spiders who just string a few strands are, obviously, wanting to get to the other side of the trail (insert spider crossing the trail joke here). The ones who are actually building their webs across are intent on catching eatables. I imagine this would be quiet effective, since bugs would be cruzing down the trail to get to where they needed to go or crossing back and forth from bush to bush.
Next would be how do they string it across the two sometimes three foot expanse? They can’t jump far, not even the jumping spider, who only leaps about 3-4 inches. Some throw out some web like s
Spiderman and let the wind attach it to something on the other side. Others swing like a pendulum. Still others attach the web to the side they are on, crawl across the ground, climb back up and then pull in the slack. This third way is for them to build a web. I’m sure there are other ways they do this.
I don’t know anyone who is not grossed out by spider web across the face, so if you have any other ideas about preventing this from happening please share.