Friday, October 21, 2005

As the weather turns

The weather is certainly turning here in New England, and I'm biking much less than I was by the end of the summer. Last week was very rainy, of course, and I don't enjoy biking in bad weather when I am in a hurry to get to work. This week I had a rain fake-out (it was raining heavily when I was getting ready in the morning, but cleared up soon after) and longish days at work.

By far the most important factor is the diminishing daylight. It is barely light when I leave the house and it is already dark when I get home. I am in the market for a handlebar extender I can use to mount a headlight-- and not just any headlight, but a lead-battery powered headlight that will allow me to see and not just be seen.

The dropping temperatures also make biking less enjoyable. This morning I remembered to wear my long-fingered gloves, but my nails were still painfully cold. I didn't have time to locate my skull liner, and the wind running though my helmet was a little too refreshing.

Still, obsessions die hard. Knox and I plan to take the train North and bike to Amesbury tomorrow for some good ol' apple picking and donut eatin'.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bike saddles and impotence

I though the whole link between bike riding and impotence had been debunked, but apparently not. The New York Times reports on three summary articles in September's Journal of Sexual Medicine which survey about a dozen recent studies on the subject. It turns out that "[t]he studies add to earlier evidence that traditional bicycle saddles, the kind with a narrow rear and pointy nose, play a role in sexual impotence." While the studies focused mostly on men, it is though that saddles could have a similar effect on women.

The scientists recommend not the "ergonomic" saddles with cutouts which may increase the pressure on sensitive nerves, but rather noseless saddles that force the rider's whole weight to rest on the sit bones.

My bike saddle is of the traditional sort, but not hard and narrow like a real road bike's. It's a bit wide and cushioned, and I'm not conscious of undue pressure on my perineum (nor of any untoward consequences). Curiously, though, when I haven't stretched, I will sometimes feel a slight thread of pain in my thigh and my buttock, but this pain goes away if I stop to stretch.