A few weeks ago we did some of the cache trails along the River Stort (Bishops Stortford/Harlow/Essex area) on foot. It took a while to get along it and we strategically took two cars and parked one at each end of the river so that we didn’t have to walk the entire way back (Not that we didn’t want to walk back, just that we would have wasted precious caching time!) Since then we noticed a ton of caches near us along the River Lee/Lea (Runs from Hertfordshire into London Docklands). We didn’t want to drive one car into London and leave the other up our end, so we decided that mountain bikes would be a great investment and bought one each….
Well, they say that riding a bike is one thing that you never forget. I’d agree, but add to that if balance is one thing you’ve never had, you ain’t gonna get it quickly! I last rode a bike more than 10 years ago. I did go out a lot on it and some days during the summer holiday me and my brother would just go riding for the entire day. It was great fun and we have some great memories about it, including me falling off onto the side of the road. That wasn’t too bad, and we laughed about it. Well, the other day I did the same thing, but not by the road. Thankfully I wasn’t hurt as the huge cluster of nettles and brambles broke my fall. Ouch ouch ouch!
I tried to mount the bike whilst on a slight gradient. I didn’t manage to get onto it quite well enough, lost my balance and in slow motion toppled into the nettle patch. Luckily I had my rucksack on my back and managed to fall in back-first. I got stung all around both wrists, the top of both arms and all down my legs (Wearing shorts and a short sleeved T-Shirt!) Luckily my cycle gloves stopped me getting stung on my hands and the backpack protected my back. My caching buddy rushed to my rescue and after moving the bramble that was positioned right across me, hoisted me out! Phew! My skin immediately became swollen and covered in the little white bubbles. Typically there were no dock leafs around!
Nettles and brambles are a cachers worst nightmare. I feel now that I’ve faced my fear and that future stings (Unless I do the same thing again!) will never be as bad! Gardening gloves are definitely a must for any cachers (See my previous post) and I’d also recommend a regular swim in the nettle patch. I figure if I get stung enough I’ll one day be immune! 😉