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Crotch Torture

October 5, 2010

I really don’t have any excuses for my recent blog hiatus. So let’s just get right on with it and take a look at the subject of the day: biking!

As some of you may know, I recently endeavored to do a bit of cycling in the south of France. I sort of stumbled in to this trip by a happy (for me) accident. My parents were supposed to do the trip together, but a work emergency came up, and my Dad wasn’t able to go anymore. Luckily I’m my mom’s favourite kid, so she naturally invited me (after checking to see if any of my other sisters could go first). After clearing it with work, I was in! I had one week to prepare myself.

I knew that my parents (and the friends that they were going to be cycling with) had been preparing and training for this trip all summer. They had all bought bikes and clip-in cycling shoes and had been biking all summer. Normally this would concern me, given that my only biking experience is riding my one speed cruiser bike with a banana seat and a basket for ten minutes to work every day. But the fact that I would be on a trip with the aged 50 and up crowd placated my fears. As a ripe 25 year old, I would be fine. Besides, we’d probably be spending most of our time eating cheese and drinking wine and carrying baguettes around in our bike baskets. I think I was basically picturing every French cliché I could think of, and then adding in a bike occasionally.

So when we arrived at our destination, and our host asked us to come down and get fitted on a bike, and told us that we would go for a quick little test ride, I wasn’t too worried. Sure, I had been up for 36 hours, but I am in the prime of my youth and can certainly handle a one-hour ride. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Apparently a road bike is extremely different from my purple one speed cruiser bike. First of all, you have to lean way down to get a hold of the handlebars. But when you do that, you begin to wobble. And wobbling on a road bike is not recommended as it often leads to falling.

Luckily, my balance only failed me for the first few minutes of the ride. Then my instincts took over and I was okay. In fact, I felt the need. The need… for speed! I had no idea how FAST you can go on a road bike! This bike had so many different gears! The harder I pedaled, the faster I went, and the more I could change gears. It was wonderful. For about five minutes. Then I started to realize how uncomfortable I was. Not only was I sitting on something that looked more like a seat for pygmy koalas than human beings, but I was also hunched over, crunching my neck, and putting enormous amounts of pressure on my (previously broken) wrists. I was in agony. But I could actually barely notice the neck and wrist pain because the blinding pain the seat was causing my crotch was taking up all my attention.

All I could think about was the fact that I would likely never have children. Surely this alleged “seat” was currently rendering that prospect impossible. I couldn’t imagine my crotch ever being useful again. Oh my god! What if I had to get a crotch-ectomy!? I knew it was a possibility if I didn’t get off this bike, and soon. But all the 50-somethings were still biking away! My pride and dignity simply would not let me stop and get off the bike.

Then I remembered something. Don’t some people bike standing up? I tried it. Sweet relief! As wind and fresh air flowed through my shorts, my crotch area felt like one of those foam earplugs. You know, you can mash it up and squish it, but then when you let it go, it slowly moves back in to its original form. It felt like heaven. But then my quad muscles started to burn, and I knew I couldn’t sustain my standing position for much longer. The realization that I would have to endure sitting felt like the times my dad would trick me into going down into our creepy, unfinished basement, then turn out the lights and shut the door (laughing like a maniac). I was terrified.

But again, my pride got the best of me. I subjected my crotch to torture for the next 45 minutes, while we continued our “test ride”. When we got back to our hotel, I raced up the stairs, closed the door to the bathroom, and proceeded to check myself. I’m not sure what I was looking for. Bruises maybe. I was sure there had to be evidence of the gross mistreatment my bike seat had given me. But as far as I could tell, I seemed to be unscathed. This was only slightly reassuring, as thoughts of the next day’s full-day ride bobbed around in my head.

When morning arrived, I filled my belly with lots of “pain chocolate” (aka chocolate croissants, aka the breakfast of champions) and mentally prepped myself for the day. I hummed eye of the tiger under my breath as I mounted my bike for the first time that morning. Instant pain. I checked to make sure I was actually on my seat, and that somebody hadn’t removed it and placed a jagged piece of scrap metal there as a cruel joke. But alas, it was my real seat. And nobody else seemed to be having any crotch-related problems, so I sucked it up, and started the ride.

Did you know that the French countryside is breathtakingly beautiful? Seriously, it really does feel like being in a French film. We cycled through vineyards and farms, on winding roads with the sun shining. I actually started to feel a bit silly because I realized I had a giant grin plastered on my face. And I mean the kind of grin that people only get when they are laughing, or opening a Christmas present. The kind that creeps people out if it stays on your face for longer than about 42 seconds. And mine just wouldn’t leave. I was a bit worried that passerbyers might actually think there was a crazy lady biking around their town, but those worries took a backseat to my enjoyment of the scenery and the fresh air that flew by me as I cycled.  Actually, I almost didn’t even notice the crotch-torture anymore. It started to feel more like a numbing ache that I could ignore, rather than an urgent situation requiring immediate attention.

And the rest of the story can be found in a video I am creating. It is still in progress, but when it is ready, I will post it in the comments section of this blog post.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenna permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:01 pm

    If you ever make a pygmy koala ride on that bike seat………i will send a drop bear after you.

  2. Stacey permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:05 pm

    I love the photos! I look forward to the video! I am very interested to hear where all you biked to, j’aime the south of France!

  3. October 5, 2010 9:33 pm

    What, no mime? What kind of French cliché is this?

    Haha, pain chocolate. Like regular chocolate. But with extra servings of PAIN.

    • October 5, 2010 9:59 pm

      I was thinking exactly that as I was typing it. Seriously. But then I laughed, because chocolate never causes me pain. Only joy.

      • October 6, 2010 9:50 am

        But what if you eat excessive amounts of chocolate? I find that it starts to cause pain after eating pounds of the stuff.

    • October 7, 2010 11:43 am

      I imagine something like a chocolate bar with spikes. Or a taser hidden inside.

      V, you’ve eaten pounds of chocolate? I don’t know whether to congratulate you or check you into a hospital…

      • November 1, 2010 3:10 pm

        Yes. And somehow I managed to not fall into a diabetic coma. Impressive? I think so.

        (Side note: I’ve also eaten pounds of bacon. Which is equally as disgusting/awesome)

  4. October 6, 2010 9:53 am

    Yay, pictures!!!

    But you’re seriously hating on that bike seat too much. Maybe you just have an extremely bony vagina. Ever think of THAT?

    • October 6, 2010 11:10 am

      I did think of that, actually. But the rest of me isn’t very bony, so I find it hard to believe that my vagina would be any different. But I haven’t compared myself to enough people to really be sure.

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