Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Why take a risk with that part of the anatomy?"

Graphic from a 2005 NY Times story

Another story in the NY Times about the hazards of the traditional bicycle seat, an issue I posted about way back in 2005. Strange that cyclists resist accepting and adapting to this information. Interesting too that SF Streetsblog didn't post a link to the story yesterday in its Today's Headlines feature, which meticulously takes note of every injury accident involving cyclists. Maybe they thought the story would be too disturbing for their readers:

I’ve spent much of my journalistic career debunking health scares, but the bike-saddle menace struck me as a no-brainer when I first heard about it. Why, if you had an easy alternative, would you take any risk with that part of the anatomy? Even if you didn’t feel any symptoms, even if you didn’t believe the researchers’ warnings, even if you thought it was perfectly healthy to feel numb during a ride — why not switch just for comfort’s sake? Why go on crushing your crotch?

When I tried a no-nose model for my 16-mile daily commute, it was so much more comfortable that I promptly threw away the old saddle. But over the years I’ve had zero success persuading any other cyclists to switch, even when I quote the painfully succinct warning from Steven Schrader, the reproductive physiologist at Niosh who did the experiment with police officers. “There’s as much penis inside the body as outside,” Dr. Schrader told me. “When you sit on a regular bike saddle, you’re sitting on your penis.”

More precisely, according to Dr. Schrader’s measurements, you are putting 25 to 40 percent of your body’s weight on the nerves and blood vessels near the surface of the perineum. “That part of the body was never meant to bear pressure,” Dr. Schrader said. “Within a few minutes the blood oxygen levels go down by 80 percent.”

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13 Comments:

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Problem solved! Great! Let's make some more bike lanes for those no nosed saddle adorned bikes!

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, the real question is, Why do so many cyclists deny that there's a problem in the first place? I suspect it's for the same reason that many cyclists are in denial about the dangers of riding a bike: they hate to admit that their chosen "mode" of transportation has any downside.

 
At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do so many cyclists deny that there's a problem in the first place?

Denial isn't even an appropriate term - because there ISN'T a problem. And the problems impacting one's sex life from inactivity are far worse - obesity and diabetes are far more likely to contribute to impotence than sitting on a bike seat.

If there were an epidemic of this sort of thing actually happening, the sport would collapse. Instead it's thriving - including many men your age who are far more sexually active than you.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Okay, if you say so. But why take the chance, especially if the safer saddle is just as comfortable as the traditional saddle? My interpretation: a lot of bike people are know-it-alls, and cycling is part of their core moral/political belief system. That's also why so many cyclists deny that riding a bike can be dangerous to adults and not a good idea for children. Let a single doubt creep in, and the whole goofball ideology is threatened.

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why take the chance of getting out of bed in the AM?

This is America you fucking commie. Freedom of choice.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The bicycle seat issue is a lot like the helmet issue. Some cyclists refuse to wear a helmet for various reasons, from not wanting to mess up their hair to seeing it as some kind of corporate plot to sell helmets. The reality: a helmet can save your life in an accident.

The point is, Why take unnecessary risks? If the no-nose seat is just as comfortable and serviceable as the long-nose design, why not make the change?

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Meat consumption can lead to obesity, heart disease, and a number of other health problems. So why take the risk? Steak tastes good.

Shut up you fucking nanny.

 
At 2:07 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

But there is no risk and no downside at all to changing your bicycle seat.

 
At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Lance Armstrong - fountain of all bike knowledge.

 
At 6:54 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

I didn't write the article. Speaking of Armstrong, didn't he have cancer in that part of the body? Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

 
At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If what you are spouting is true, every Tour guy would have one nut, which isn't the case. So get off your high horse.

 
At 10:31 AM, Anonymous bike-nut(s) said...

http://bikeportland.org/2011/07/01/summer-reading-economic-benefits-of-bicycling-55794

 
At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colon Cancer is very prevalent and deadly in America, a country where the majority of people sit on their asses in cars? Coincidence? I think not...

 

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