No, instead people wonder how my nether regions survive the chafing that comes with very long days on a bicycle seat. Which then makes me wonder if maybe those shorts do make my butt look big. Or maybe my big butt makes those shorts look small.
But, as usual, I digress.
So, I would like to tell you today how YOU can have more shapely buttocks. I would really, really like to tell you that ... but I can't. Because I obviously don't know how to have shapely buttocks. I mean, if I knew how to have shapely buttocks, you think I would continue lugging this beast of a behind behind me?
Instead, I would like to tell you how YOU can spend days on end on ... well, your end. Or at least, with your end on a bicycle saddle, pedaling blissfully down traffic-free smooth roads, with no mean dogs, and no hills so steep that they hurt, and no headwinds, and always a low-humidity 74.6 degrees.
Okay, I can't tell you how to do that one either. I guess what I can tell you is what works for me. And then I will tell you of my insidious plan ...
Have a Fit
My first advice to anyone who wants to enjoy their bike time is to get a professional bicycle fit. Lynn Greer at Gran Fondo is the king of this art, in my opinion. Let Lynn put your bike on a trainer, climb aboard, and ride at the shop for half an hour while he tweaks some things, and your butt will be happier.
Of course, Lynn is just the matchmaker, and as anyone knows who has been married, you have to be willing to make some changes in order to maintain household harmony. At first, the fit may feel weird ... and it's possible that some of the changes are not entirely right for you. But, just as when you get married you will miss all-night benders with your old fraternity brothers, the changes are usually for the best. Just as your liver will thank you, so eventually will your crotch.
And, just as your married life changes when you have kids, your bicycle fit will change as you swap out saddles, flip the stem, get different shoes, and so forth. In this regard, think of Lynn as your marriage counselor. Go see him for another half hour to restore wedded bliss.
Kiss Some Frogs
They say that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the prince. Of course, other than a Pinarello, I really have no need for a prince. However, I do sometimes like to kiss frogs ... and not just those ones that have that natural LSD on their skin, either. It's a fetish, I know, but the first step is admitting that you have a problem.
In the same way, you have to try a lot of saddles before you find the right one -- just don't lick any of them. I recommend you find an ultracyclist and ask to borrow his crate of "saddles I tried for a couple of thousand miles before I gave up on them." It's a cheap way to test a lot of saddles that have been well-broken in. Again, though, don't lick them. Don't even touch them until you wash them. Use bleach. Lots and lots of bleach.
Nothing is nearer and dearer ... in a very real and legally binding way ... to a cyclist than his or her shorts. They are our most intimate companions, going where no man has gone before ... with the exception of my proctologist, Dr. Krammenheine.
Shorts should be snug enough to keep things in place, but not so tight that your legs turn blue. The chamois should not have stitching in places that might cause chaff, and should conform to the topography of your taint. The entire effect of your shorts should be protective, supportive, and gently caressing. You should be able to forget that they are even there ... unlike Dr. Krammenheine.
In your quest for the perfect shorts, you will again kiss some frogs. What frogs are doing in your shorts I cannot even begin to surmise -- it's probably a question best put to Dr. Krammenheine. But my point is (if, indeed, I do have one) that you are going to spend $150 on at least one pair of shorts that fit great at the store, only to find that at mile 72 of a summer century they become the crotchal equivalent of a Pauly Shore movie. Just as with Bio-Dome, however, you paid your $8.50 (plus another $12.50 for the large popcorn and diet coke combo) and you're gonna sit thru the whole damned movie.
And so, three weeks later, you will again try the $150 shorts on another century. Whereas before they were like a small orbital sander with 200-grit paper, this time they feel like a belt sander with 60-grit paper at about mile 30, and by the end of the ride have become a dremel tool. (Pardon the carpentry symbolism -- RandoBoy has to appear RandoManly sometimes ... especially after he mentions the violations he has endured at the cold hands of Dr. Krammenheine.)
It's like you somehow felt compelled to actually buy Bio-Dome, and make yourself watch it every month ... four times in a row ... back-to-back-to-back-to-back.
Are you really that stupid? C'mon! Throw the shorts out.
Which brings me, finally, to my insidious plan.
Introducing ... RandoBoy Brand Taint Paint!
For serious distance, you need something to smooth out the bumpy parts of the relationship between you, your shorts, your saddle, and your bike. This is where RandoBoy Brand Taint Paint comes in.
(sotto voce note here: RandoBoy Brand Taint Paint is a trademark of RandoBoy Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of DEATHCO, which also owns Halliburton, Phillip-Morris, Heckler & Koch, and Exxon ... just kidding! Please don't sue me.)
Just as there are 100 ways to skin a cat, there are 100 different kinds of salves and balms -- and the combinations thereof -- that you can slather onto that skinned cat. If it stops yowling, then maybe you should try the same mixture on your nether regions before you next don shorts for a long ride. Make sure you wash off the cat hair first, though, as it can really irritate your skin.
(another sotto voce note: RandoBoy products are not tested on animals or vegetables. Only inanimate objects, such as rocks and triathletes ... again, just kidding!)
I've tried Chamois Butt'r, Bag Balm, Assos Chamois Cream, plain old Baby Oil, and Vasoline (the Stone Temple Pilots version did just as well, and was easier to wash out of my shorts). For most long rides in recent years I've used Lantiseptic, which even advertises in UltraCycling (published by the Ultra-Marathon Cycling Association). My friend Jeff Bauer is one of their spokespersons, so they gave him a lifetime supply. It lasted him almost a year.
In a shameless attempt to cash in on my self-deluded fame, however, I am going to start hawking my own brand of butt balm -- the above-mentioned (rather flagrantly, I might add) and often-repeated (in keeping with the "repeat-often" tenets of advertising) ...
RandoBoy Brand Taint Paint
But I need a slogan. Here are some that I've come up with:
- Won't Weather your Withers
- Avoids the Pinch Between the Cheeks (by Gum!)
- Keeps your Hiney Happy
Please post your best idea as a comment. The winner will get to choose any saddle from my Big Bucket of Licked Frogs.
Bleach is extra.