Monday, 9 August 2010

cycling or offspring?

 Having delighted in reading over at BeginnerTriathlete that, being overweight, I should refrain from running, I'm now discovering the perils of cycling. 10 minutes on my Kettler Ergoracer (German forerunner of the GT) and I literally cannot feel my nether regions. This seems to be an area of some controversy (cycling, not my undercarriage).

A 2005 NYT article first stirred things up in the general public domain when they covered a special editorial in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on compressed perineums, quoting that 5% of men who cycle intensively developed moderate to severe ED (erectile dysfunction). Counter evidence that this is three times less than statistics on the normal affect of male aging suggests that cycling is actually good for one’s loins – even if this argument was first made by the owner of a cycle company. 

One study focusing on professional cyclists found 71% of male competitors after a race suffered impotence up to 3 hours after, 13% a week after (my other half would be lucky to get any attention 3 days after a triathlon, let alone hours). A recent 2010 meta-study on such research, published again in Sexual Medicine concludes “[T]here a significant relationship between cycling-induced perineal compression leading to vascular, endothelial, and neurogenic dysfunction in men and the development of ED” (Women suffer the same consequences, but there’s considerably less research on this. Sounds familiar.)

Other factors, apparently, are also conspiring against me: I’m overweight, compounding the compression; I have a rather bony backside; I’m using a cheap saddle with no padding in my shorts; and I’m abnormally well-endowed. Ok, so I may have made one of those up.
 So it looks like I’ll soon be seen sporting a rather fetching pair of Pearl Izumi's, and will also be scouring ebay for a new groove-style saddle – something like a Specialized Toupe, although it seems I have to go and get my buttocks measured for the right size (ooh, suits you sir!)

                                            castration contraption

 some temporary remedial action has made a significant difference. I’ve tipped the saddle forward and lower, and flipped the handle bars 180 degrees, creating a much more comfortable ride. I’m starting to love the flexibility of this bike. And future progeny saved.

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