"Aaah, summer" or "Aargh, summer": Nettles!

Summer: blue skies, ice cream vans every few miles, not getting evils in tea rooms for traipsing mud all over the floor and, most importantly, fast and dry trails.

At least they would be if they hadn’t disappeared under a triffid-like invasion of the undergrowth as singletrack rapidly becomes half-track, then quarter-track, then eighth-track. The back-of-the-leg scratches from brambles and other pointy flora are irritating, but nothing compared to the sight of those distinctive hairy leaves with zig-zag edges stretching out across the track.

After having tingly arms and legs for what seems like for ever, I am coming to the conclusion that one of two things must surely happen sooner or later:

  1. I will eventually become desensitised or immune to nettles after so much exposure to them; or

  2. I will eventually succumb to massive formic acid and histamine poisoning.

A plus point of the muni and 29er over the bike is that at least you can make some attempt at getting your arms out of the way; on the bike you’re stuck with silly wide handlebars plunging your naked, naked arms deep into the nettles (maybe some squashed-into-the-middle aero bars on the mtb would help!). The minus side is that you can do nothing to stop your legs being attacked; no positioning of the pedals to clear them, and no front wheel to squash them flat.

Evolution has a lot to answer for if, after thousands of years, the boundary between “Me” and the outside world can be so easily defeated by an insentient green flimsy weed at the lightest of touches.


edit: The smiley just looked wrong…

But if it weren’t for the nettles ripping open the skin, we couldn’t fully enjoy the poison ivy.

Seems your countrymen are trying to eat them to eradication:

I tend to just ignore the minor brushes. The irritation is made no better by scratching. I’ve heard mud helps, not tried that yet.

Do you wear leg armour, like the 661 4x4’s?

Leg armour and arm armour and full finger gloves will protect you from the nettles. There aren’t many trails around here that have nettles and I don’t ride those trails very often. But when I do I wear the armour and don’t have a problem.

Long cycling tights and those cycling arm warmers (the kind that you slip on your arms up to your upper arm) will also protect you from the nettle stings. When you get through the nettles you can push the arm warmers down to let your arms cool off. There are also leg warmers that slip on up to your shorts. Anything lycra like that covers your skin will protect you from the nettle sting.

Re: “Aaah, summer” or “Aargh, summer”: Nettles!

On Mon, 11 Jul 2005 17:27:58 -0500, “john_childs” wrote:

>Anything lycra like that covers your skin
>will protect you from the nettle sting.

Not. I’ve fallen into nettles on a downhole upd and the nettles
stinged right through the lycra. Probably not as bad though as when it
had been bare skin.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“As with all great social movements, the origins of mountain unicycling are unclear. - Hannah Nordhaus (Los Angeles Times)”

Glide through em!