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

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Old July 11th 05, 10:13 PM
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Default "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

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...

phil - ex-studenty type

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Old July 11th 05, 10:19 PM
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Default "Aaah, summer" or "Aargh, summer": Nettles!

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

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Old July 11th 05, 10:23 PM
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Default "Aaah, summer" or "Aargh, summer": Nettles!

Seems your countrymen are trying to eat them to eradication:

Dinner, where is thy sting? By Gideon Long

Fri Jun 17,10:59 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A handful of hardy souls will descend on a quiet
English village this weekend to stuff their mouths full of stinging
nettles in a bizarre competition which started as an argument in a

Combatants will gather at The Bottle Inn in Marshwood, southwest
England, Saturday night to take part in the 9th annual World Nettle
Eating Championship.

It is a mouth-watering prospect.

Competitors must pluck and eat as many leaves as they can from the
feathery, stinging plants in the space of one hour. Their achievement
is measured in feet and inches -- the combined length of the bare
stems they discard.

"You have to adopt the correct technique to stand any chance of
winning," said Shane Pym, landlord of the Bottle Inn.

"The art is to fold the top of the leaf inwards, get it past the lips,
crunch it and then get it down the neck. You can't let your mouth get
dry or you will get stung."

The championship has a short but colorful history.

It started in 1986 as a heated argument in the pub between two farmers
who both claimed that the nettles at the back of their silage pits
were the longest.

The landlady of the Bottle Inn intervened and declared an competition
to resolve the dispute. Other farmers were also invited to take

Three years later, local man Alex Williams threw down a gauntlet to
his rivals in the shape of a nettle measuring 15 feet 6 inches. If
anyone could produce a longer one, he boasted, he would eat it.

For the next eight years, Williams was forced -- almost literally --
to eat his words. Each year, someone would step forward with a longer
nettle and, each year, Williams would dutifully chomp his way though

In 1997, the event evolved in to a straight fight to eat the most
nettles, a format which has endured until now.

The rules are strict.

Competitors cannot wear gloves and must eat the leaves of ordinary
"Urtica Dioica" stinging nettles supplied by the pub. Beer is allowed
but mouth-numbing drugs are strictly forbidden.

Around 40 entrants are expected to take part this year and while most
of them are local farmers from rural Dorset, a few are coming from
Ireland and Belgium to take part.

Last year's winner ate 42 feet's worth of nettle leaves while the
world record is an impressive 74 feet.

"We've never had any serious injuries but we do have ambulance men
standing by, just in case," Pym said.

"It can sometimes get a little bit contentious."

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.

UniBrier - Its Time to Ride


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stick that guitar in the closet next to your
shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go
inside and watch TV.” – Homer
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Old July 11th 05, 11:27 PM
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Default "Aaah, summer" or "Aargh, summer": Nettles!

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.

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Old July 12th 05, 09:13 AM
Klaas Bil
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Default "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
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Old July 12th 05, 11:26 AM
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Default "Aaah, summer" or "Aargh, summer": Nettles!

Glide through em!

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