An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brown highways

I am not the cleanest dude, nor the dirtiest either. Let's say that by American two-showers-a-day standards, I'm a filthy pig. But by European standards, I'm not doing too bad. I've never actually had head lice, for example. No bed bugs that I'm aware of. I try not to come to the table with dirt on my hands or grease on my face.




So it pains me, dear reader, to have to warn you that the following paragraphs are a bit tawdry, and I'm just counting on the universality of the cycling experience to sort of excuse it all.

I'm sure glad they make synthetic red- and blue-colored chamois's (chameaux? Oh hell, shammies) these days, aren't you? I mean I have to tell you. I have waged a personal war against skid marks in my boxers for years now. It astonishes me that a person can be so thoroughly obsessed with wiping one's bottom -- I am ashamed at how many trees have died in order for me to wipe my butt as aggressively, and yet unsuccessfully as I have done these many years -- but when a person rides a bike roughly 20 miles a day in regular undershorts or, for that matter, in real biking shorts, well there are pressure points. There's friction. There are bodily functions. It ain't pretty, I grant you that. It ain't pretty at all.


I'm a big fan of actual honest-to-god chamois. Big fan. Second skin, from the softest skin of the finest deer of the remotest regions of Provencal, France, whatever. From the slopes of the Ventoux, the leaping hinds of the Black Forest. Whatever. And I like the whole idea of chamois butter. It's old school, man. Like you're supposed to put mineral oil on your cutting boards and your knife handles. Mink oil on your Red Wings. Turtle wax on your moustache.

But you know what? Every pair of bike shorts I have with a "real" chamois? Burned down the middle with a permanent shit stain, like it was the launch pad of the goddamn NASA Uranus Explorer. This makes it somewhat embarrassing to dry my shorts on the clothesline during the summer, and it sure as hell doesn't win any points with the wife or the kids or the neighbors. (Extra credit: Do you put your shorts in the dryer? Why do you do that? That isn't very smart. PMax, the frugal cyclist, taught me that lesson.)


Now I have had my battles with... uh, let's call them piles because I honestly can't spell... hemorrhoids? (I tried). Be honest: Do you ride 20 miles a day in cotton boxer shorts and tell me with a straight face that you haven't had this problem? Do you tell me that?! With a straight face?! Feh!

8 comments:

UltraRob said...

I put my cycling shorts in the dryer. Key thing is I use the air only setting. Of course I use the blue chamois and put assos chamois cream on it.

The Driver said...

Use Denture Grip. It seals nicely.

FBC Spokane said...

Brilliant. We all have had the issues and you spelled it out. I mean, you people have the issues. That never happens to me.

Speedblend guy said...

Embarrassing skid marks in your bike shorts? Use moist towelette/wet butt wipes to thoroughly clean your crackal area. And avoid farting while riding...sometimes they're not just farts, if you know what I mean.

mexican assassin said...

for god sakes......is all of this necessary?
Go commando on the commuter!

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