The bike seat has to be one of the more painful devices known to MAN. A skinny little thing on which you place all your weight and the point at which you place all your weight happens to be a part of the male anatomy on which many men place all their hopes and dreams.
I have heard women grouse about the tools used in gynecological exams, saying they had to have been developed by a man. I know for a fact this is true, as I am friends with the inventor's grandson (or maybe it is great grandson). If family traits get passed along, then it is a safe bet grand dad was not much concerned with asking for directions "down there," if you know what I mean.
That's Right, Ladies. Come to Papa ...
(Picture from eBay.com)
But at least those metal flesh thrashers can get warmed up and lubricated.
Not so much for a bike seat.
... But Payback's a Bitch!
(Picture Courtesy of www.bikeseats.org)
I rationalized bike seat pain was driven by my weight. Too much pressure on the taint from the tonnage above said taint.
Tonnage gone and newly relocated back into a community in which I had enjoyed raising my children, I was eager to get out on a Rail Trail that came into being shortly after I had left town. It was also, truth be told, one of my biggest political miscalculations as a selectman, to boot. I did not expect it to be that popular and have been proven dead wrong.
I hate it when that happens.
So out onto the Rail Trail I went. I found my old bike shorts with the spandex and the rubberized equivalent of a maxipad. Through the weight reduction the spandex liner was now loose rather than formfitting, but the pad still hit the appropriate spot, as it were.
And off I went with the iPod going to check out that which I had not expected to have been a huge community asset.
The ride went well. It goes by a river with small inclines here and there akin to putting an elliptical machine on a programmed path of similar exercise, and I kept the mountain bike pretty much in its highest two gears and rolled along.
For about 15 minutes.
Then the taint started sending subtle signals to my brain.
"Psst. This thing is uncomfortable."
"No it isn't. You have fear. Think of what it would be like with a 70 pound sack of potatoes on my back and thank your lucky stars. Besides, this is a padded bike seat, I bought specifically for you, you little diva, remember?"
"How could I remember that, asshole, this bike is twelve years old and has not been used by you in ten."
"Relax. It'll be fine."
"Okay ... just remember I told you so."
"Shut up and keep me on the seat. I don't want road rash."
I kept checking for usual signs of fatigue I had recalled previously when riding the bike. The legs stayed strong. The back didn't hurt thanks to raising the handle bars. I had no clue as to where I was going, and decided to simply do it by time to keep the first trip out on the trail reasonable. A half hour out, I would turn around and head back, given the ride out was more uphill than down.
Getting off the bike a half hour out for some water and a quick body damage assessment check was fairly heartening. The twice operated knee did not ache. I did not limp around. I was not gasping for air. No arm or back aches.
But I walked around the trail like a toddler with a messy diaper in his pants.
And the taint was far less cordial in the signals it sent.
"I told you so, dumb shit."
"Whaddya talking about. This will be fine."
"Yeah right. Go ahead. Get back on that torture device. I dare you."
And, sure enough, there was instant soreness upon returning to the bike seat.
The return trip took far less than expected at about half the time it took to go out. There was a fair amount of standing on the pedals and a far more rapid pace to the pedaling. Let's just say taint fatigue trumped minimal leg fatigue on the way back home.
Like so many things, the taint fatigue really did not hit until the morning after. I was given instant signals as I swung my legs around the side of the bed and sat up this morning to cautiously check in on what was going on down there. I imagine it is a feeling similar to what a man might feel waking up after their first night in prison after he had been on the receiving end of prison rape from their bunkmate Tiny to whom he had relented in exchange for protection.
I mean, I don't mind a little soreness "down there" from time to time, but prefer it to have been in the pursuit of some passionate lovemaking. I do not appreciate it coming from the pursuit of endorphins to take my mind of such things as well as to keep the body and mind in shape such that I can attract willing participants for same.
The taint was not buying this rationalization being sat on by me on the edge of my bed this morning.
"I told you so, asshole, but you didn't listen."
"Look. We'll work this out. I promised my daughter we'd go out on the rail trail today at lunch time given she has a half day of school. You going to be able to make it?"
"Not a chance, fool. Not a chance. I'm ruined."
"Don't be such a drama queen. Guys ride bikes all the time."
And so I sit at my PC wishing I had an inner tube beneath me wondering what the deal is. Who came up with these devices? I seem to dimly recall bikes being invented in Paris. The French are supposed to be great lovers. How did they concoct such a device?
What sadistic person invented this contraption?
All I can think is that it had to have been a woman scorned over there in the City of Love who designed this thing to take it out on her miserable lover to prove a point. Kind of a "How do you like it, you asshole?" thought process.
Either that or perhaps it was my friend's grandmother as payback for various cold, metal speculums tested on her person as part of her husband's R&D efforts.
Either way, my taint will never trust me again. It's been violated by a bicycle seat for the last time, it tells me.
Little does it know ...