Past, Present, and future

A field of yellow flowered wild parsnip.
this was often my view during the race.  

Well, i think i'm now 'past' the worst of it as far as my wild parsnip burns go.  Here i thought that poison ivy/oak/sumac were the only nasties i really had to look out for whilst bushwhacking - how wrong i was.  For those who have no idea what i'm talking about - wild parsnip - shown below - is a non-native plant that has taken over in many places in wisconsin and southern Minnesota, including Albert Lea, host city to the recent MNOC adventure-o that i competed in.  I remember recognizing the plant from a description i'd been given that morning as i forged through fields of it up to my waist.  I also remember wondering why the team we were following all seemed to be holding their arms up above their heads.  I wonder no longer.  Long story short, the sap from damaged leaves and stems left streaks across my forearms, knees, and all over my hands.  That sap apparently reacts with UV radiation and causes a chemical burn - destroying the skin cells at the point of contact.  Imagine you took a hot iron and pressed the edge against your skin and you'll get an idea of the aftermath - big blisters popping up all over and severe discoloration that apparently lasts for up to a couple of years.  Don't worry - there is no wild parsnip in the pembina gorge!

Ergon grips

Presently we need to get all of you teams that are planning on doing our race to throw your chips in and actually register!  We can't pull this off without teams, and we're about to make some rather large purchases (swag people, swag!) and can't really justify doing so if we don't know that we're going to at least cover our costs.  If we don't start getting some teams signed up we may even have to cancel the race.  So our first choice is that you register, but at the very least, send us an email to let us know you are planning to attend so we can get a better feel for the numbers to expect.  And make sure to keep spreading the word - the phrase "the more the merrier" is aptly true when searching for that CP in the middle of the night.  Not sure if you want to commit yet?  Want more incentive?  Well how's this - I just received a box of 10 Ergon bike grips in the mail to give away at the event - adding to an existing prize pool that already puts most local races to shame.

Ahhh yeah.  Pugsley frame.

And finally - looking ahead to the Coldavenger Extreme North Dakota Iceman triathlon - we've just heard that Surly, Granddaddy of fat tire bikes among other things, will be supporting the event with a great prize pack including a pugsley frame - not bad for our little hometown expression of winter-time valor.


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