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:
I will eventually become desensitised or immune to nettles after so much exposure to them; or
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…