I received a request to do an interview with a writer from WebMD, Saylnn Boyles. The issue she was investigating was decreased genital sensation among women due to riding a bike. A research paper indicated that genital neuropathies and erectile dysfunction in males is commonly discussed and a well accepted concern for male cyclists; but what about the women? Do women have neurological injuries due to riding a bike and can those be solved by simply raising the handle bars?
Saylnn sent me the research paper, “The Bar Sinister: DoesHandlebar Level Damage the Pelvic Floor in Female Cyclists?” The paper looked at 48 cyclists and compared their genital sensations with those of 22 runners.
Early in my conversation with Saylnn, she commented that her impression was that the topic of genital numbness was a common topic of conversation among female riders.
Before I let you know the full range of my comments on her assumption and the research paper, I want to hear from you. Is this an issue? Do you experience genital numbness after a bike ride?
Ladies, let me know if you experience this problem or not.
You’ll need to post your comments on my Facebook page, since comments are blocked here on Active due to spammers.
Today was a scheduled Estes ride because the weather was so darn nice. Estes Park is a 32 mile climb from Loveland, if we go via Devil’s Gulch Road. This route also includes some tough switchbacks. We went back via Highway 34, which is a bit shorter. For 62.83 miles there is 3787 feet of climbing – the majority of the climbing is on the trip up.
It was a good sized group today, with plenty of strong riders. Carl Ciacci (Villanova graduate and cycling team alumni - he can sprint like he was shot from a cannon) shows up with Layla, his nine-year old Jack Russell Terrier. (Apologies to Layla, as I probably spelled your name incorrectly.) His plan was to carry Layla on the ride, unless she became uncomfortable at any point. If she wasn’t having a good time, he’d take her home.
This dog was completely relaxed the entire trip. She sat comfortably in Carl’s messenger bag looking around at the other riders and putting her nose in the wind occasionally. She got a break at the Notchtop Café and a chance to stretch her legs while we snagged something to eat.
I snapped the photo below when we made a stop to try to fix Dave McClure’s broken spoke. Of course Carl is carrying Layla. Dave McClure is left of Carl and Bill Danielson is behind Dave.)
I’d guess Layla weighs some 13 to 15 pounds. If you want to make cycling harder in the off-season, carry your dog or an additional 15 pounds in a backpack.
The second weekend in June, I was in Vancouver, British Columbia supporting the ITU Development Team. On Saturday before the race it was raining and it was cold. Not just a little rain, a lot of rain.
On a trip to the grocery store a short distance from my hotel, I could hear chanting. It seemed a demonstration of some sort was heading toward me. I looked down the street and I could see cyclists approaching - but something wasn't normal.
Know how you glance at something, then your brain resisters that what you are seeing is does not fit with stored data?
The brain responds with, "What is wrong with this picture?"
You stare more, trying to sort out exactly what is going on. What is going on?
They were chanting, "Use less gas. Use more ***. Use less gas. Use more ***." Chanting away while riding bicycles naked. Most of them were naked anyway. A few of them had swim suits or underwear on, but most were in the buff. Keeping with the intended spirit of "The World Naked Bike Ride", the ones that wanted rain gear to stay warm and dry wore transparent rain slickers. Impressive in an odd sort of way.
Once past the shock of seeing what I was seeing, the analytical part of me began to question. Geeze, aren't there chaffing problems? Pressure points, you know where? How is this possible without extreme pain?
I suppose I could be accused of ogling. There are guidelines for the ride that admonish ogling. But, maybe that is just for participants, regarding each other?
In defense of my (and everyone around me) ogling, I decided getting an audience to pay attention was one of the main objectives. If the ride organizers organized a "regular" ride to bring attention to using bicycles for transportation and using less gas and oil, I'm certain it would not have recieved the same level of attention.
Did the ride have the intended impact? I'm not sure, but I can say I do remember the catchy chant and I'm still wondering about the multiple issues related to no-clothes bike riding.