Monday, August 1, 2011

Cycling 101 (in which we butter our bits)

Here are a few lessons I've learned from my new obsession hobby, cycling, which I wrote about earlier this summer after my virgin ride. In no particular order, I'm passing these lessons along in case any of you are looking into buying a bicycle and hitting the bike trails this summer.

  • First, it's called cycling, not bike-riding or biking. Either of the latter could refer to motorcycle-riding, and I am not cool enough to ride a motorcycle. And to be honest, I don't own one, although I do have four black leather jackets. But if I did own a motorcycle, I would have a rumbly, classic, turquoise Harley, and I would sweet-talk some guy named Gary who has a long, gray braid, a beer gut, and leather chaps to ride in the front and drive me around. Let Gary be the bug-catcher. I just want to look good on the back of my hog. That's biking. I cycle.
  • A bicycle is still called a bike though. Just roll with it.
  • Your bike will probably come with gears. If you don't know how many are on it, to avoid being mocked, just don't talk about it. If someone asks how many you have, look bored and say, "Enough. I've never used them all." Change the subject to something else, like clothing.
  • Yes, you will want to invest in some expensive, form-fitting bike shorts so you fit in with the other cyclists. If you're a woman, you will have a nice, padded diaper chamois between your legs to cushion your coochie and mop up some of the sweat. And don't kid yourself, doll. If you ride far and fast enough, you'll sweat there. Make sure you check the color of the chamois if you're ordering online. Believe it or not, some chamois are red. Neither chamois nor merkins should be red for reasons too obvious to mention. If you're a man, simply from a woman's perspective, I'd like you to tuck your junk whatever it is men do with their junk. Please. Bike shorts are awkward enough without you walking around giving everybody an outline of your manly endowments. Also, make sure your bike shirt is long enough to cover the waistband of your shorts. In other words, no gut hanging out between the sausage casing and the bottom of the shirt. There are bad ways to announce you need a woman in your life, and this is one of them.
  • You can buy some grease called Chamois BUTT'r to lubricate your bits if the chamois isn't enough to keep you from chafing on your saddle. Lots of people like it, according to the reviews on Amazon. I didn't find it made my bike ride any more comfortable, so I recommend applying it with a partner. You might not ever make it out to the trail, but you'll probably still get a ride. Giddyup!
  • A bike seat is called a saddle. The wide, fat ones look more comfortable but they're not. How much space do you have between your legs anyway? You only need to ride on your sit bones. You don't want to bounce around on your butt fat, no matter how many springs your tractor seat has. I hear your confusion, your disbelief. I didn't believe it either, but it's true. We're not talking bed size here. A saddle the size of a Snickers bar is the right size, but do make sure it has an indentation for your bits. To make sure it's right for you, find a cute guy at your local bike store and have him fit you on it. Also see if he can sell you some Chamois BUTT'r and ask how it tastes.
  • Even if you slather yourself with sunscreen--and you definitely should--you will get a weird tan a few inches above your knees from your bike shorts. You can either cycle or wear mini skirts; you can't do both. I chose cycling because the last time I let my ass hang out of a mini skirt John Travolta was wearing a white leisure suit and wide lapels. Guys, if you ride your bike in a kilt, you will also get a weird tan....or so I've heard.
  • You will also want to buy tight cycling shirts made of space-age fabrics that wick the sweat away from your body and don't flap in the breeze. Ladies, this inevitably causes headlights. Even a sports bra worn underneath your tank won't completely conceal your nipples, although it will give you the dreaded uni-boob so nobody will want to look at your one-eyed monster anyway. Depending on the shirt, sometimes I prefer headlights to uni-boob. That's why I bought a road bike with curved handlebars. Once I'm bent over my bars and riding, my nipples don't show. Problem solved unless I stop and stand up straight.
  • For some reason cyclists don't notice each other's rolls of fat. In other circumstances, people neither are nor should be so forgiving. The only time you should dress in clothes this tight and go out in public is when you are cycling. Otherwise, you just look like a large Eastern European sausage...or a ho. (Special fashion note: leggings are not pants. Make no mistake.)
  • You can buy special shoes that clip onto special pedals so your feet don't go to sleep on long rides. These shoes make you special. I haven't earned special status yet. And I don't want to fall off my bike because my feet are clipped to my pedals. I'm only allowed to wear mitten clips.
  • You won't find many bathrooms along the bike trail, so you should pee before you go and plan to hold it if you're going on a long ride. Unless you're a man. If you're a man you can stop and go in the weeds, where, as usual, you won't have to wait in line. Or, if you're built like a squid you can....use your imagination. No, your chamois only looks and feels like a diaper. Don't even think about it.
  • Etiquette requires that you ride single file when you pass a cyclist going the other direction. However, if you have stopped on the trail to talk and another cyclist comes along, you should only move aside after she has slowed down to a crawl. As you move to the side of the path, keep talking, but throw in an insincere "sorry" as the cyclist crawls by you. I don't know the reason for this rule, but enough people seem to do it that it must be written down somewhere.
  • Honking at Canada geese as they try to settle on the bike path in the evening sometimes makes them run at you instead of away. Hissing makes them waddle away. There's nothing you can do about the poop, so just pretend it's not there. It's not worth whining about.
  • If you have to ride on surface roads (streets to you novices), use hand signals when you're going to turn. It doesn't matter what signals you use. People in cars don't know what they mean anyway.
  • Cycling is an addiction, not a sport. Nothing else explains why I go out during 98-degree heat alerts and ride 20 miles with the guys I cycle with. The only thing that explains why they go out with me is....ummmmm.....the bike shorts? Yes, it must be the bike shorts.
  • Dairy Queen ice cream is calorie-free if you ride a bicycle there and back. Conversely, cocktails consumed just up the path at Pat's Dildo Club will still get you drunk. The good news is that you're riding on a path. Just follow it and you'll end up where you started. Or close enough.
OK, that's enough for one class. All the time I spent riding a bike when I was a kid did not prepare me for the complicated world of cycling. I've only hit a few important points here, so expect more lessons in the future when I introduce you to Cycling 102.

Did I mention my new bike?

* More on the men I ride with in another post. As I should have expected, not everybody can keep up with me, but a few are willing to die trying. Bless them.


  1. i used to enjoy riding around the lake in idlewild but i never got into it like you are here. maybe 12 miles, which was three times around on a very old bike with 3 gears and a crooked front wheel. sigh. those were the days.

  2. Twelve miles seems pretty far to me on the bike you describe. I've been riding 16-20 on most rides, but my bike does most of the work for me. I'd like to go further, but it's been so hot here--almost as hot as Georgia--I don't push much past 20.

    You need a new bike, Kris. Just try it!

  3. it was in michigan. i can't imagine riding around here which is why i haven't got a bike and left the other one.

  4. I like to ride a lot. But I prefer to keep my bits in one place. So how can us guys keep our bits fron sliding down and shrinking?

    1. I didn't even know that was a thing! I did a google search for "cycling men genitals shrink squish" and learned that your problem is not unique. One guy on the Reddit thread I'm about to post claims he "wrap[s] [his] 4 times round [his] leg or tuck[s] it into ,[his] sock (left one)." That seems like the best advice. Or you can just pull your penis upward as if you were on the Olympic swimming team and wanted to look like you've got a perpetual hard on. I assume you wear bike shorts, but if not, that chamois can really help on long rides. In any case, I am no expert on the shrinking penis. These guys offered more information here:

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Great stuff! I used to cycle though I called it biking back in the day. Twenty miles, yep. Along a river in Ohio. I miss it terribly. I need to move to a city. This desert sucks for cycling. I don't like mountain bikes. I do love your new bike.

    1. I know a river in Ohio you can cycle along! I'll take you there.