Some of the problems being a bicycle rider in a car-driving world, Wreck-Free Sunday

I know what some of you might be thinking, but there will be no reports on interactions with motor vehicles in this post. No, not that either. This is a post about… underwear.

OK while you put your heads back on your necks from the psychic whiplash, this post is about white cotton briefs and the problems you can have with them if you’re a bike rider, even if you don’t wear underwear with your bike shorts. OK I just saw heads going the other way, I’ll hold up while you recover from the other psychic whiplash (or the first one after I made that other abrupt reversal).

OK are you sitting comfortably with plenty of neck support? This post is about why men’s underwear doesn’t fit bike riders natural proportions. There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? I have been training for a couple of things I want(ed) to do this summer. You know all about BikeMS, that charity ride I was going to do but that fell through. Well I have another thing that I’m working on, some shorter rides. Real short rides. Of about 1/4 mile each. Very quickly. That would be drag racing for the uninitiated. The current record for the standing 1/4 mile as recognized by the IHPVA is just over 27 seconds. I think I can do better if I make a purpose-built vehicle for this, that I have been working on for about 3 years now trying to make it hold together when I shift from low gear to high. I mention that part because it leads to the issue I got started on at the beginning of this post, underwear.

Anyway part of the reason I can’t get the drag racing vehicle to survive a shift from low to high gear is I make this shift under full power and part of it is I’m working with crap parts that have rather loose tolerances and large clearances and I can’t afford to buy good stuff, and things get twisted out of shape when I apply maximum effort, and I have been training to apply even more effort than what has been breaking the bike before.

Can you see where this one is going yet? Large amounts of power and working to be able to make more power? And just where would that power come from? You in the back doing the Horshack impression, stop waving your hand, you’re right, it’s from leg muscles. BIG leg muscles. No, bigger than that. BIG leg muscles. Are we getting the picture yet? Or are you still wondering what the heck this has to do with my underwear?

I had to get new underwear recently because the center seam in my shorts has been sawing a split down the center of the seat of my underwear. I got the size that fits my waist just fine, but it takes me a few minutes to get the leg holes over my thighs either pulling them on or taking them off before I go to bed as I have to work then gently around the quads and hamstrings until I can pull the underwear up over my waist. The waistband is comfortably snug, the leg holes likewise after I get the underwear completely on. It’s just the getting on part that is a pain in the tookus. Car drivers rarely have big quads, unless they have a 4BBL carburetor on the engine, so they don’t need to have big leg holes or lots of elastic on the leg holes in their underwear. Bike riders on the other hand do have big quads and hammies and hip adductors that require big leg holes in their briefs. I think the only other group that has a similar problem would be professional body builders. I’m not quite to those proportions yet, but with this drag race training program I might be soon be in those levels of development.

Now part of the problem is where I have to buy my underwear, the local dollar store. China-made underwear is not built for people like me, they make underwear for people with fat butts and big waists and skinny legs that only get used walking from the house to the car, from the desk to the refrigerator, and from the bedroom to the kitchen. IOW hardly at all. These people need underwear with waistbands that are much larger in proportion to their leg holes than people that ride bikes as transportation, and those people vastly outnumber people like me.

So, you see my dilemma. I can buy my dollar store underwear to fit my legs, or I can buy it to fit everything else underwear fits over. For the moment I buy it to fit my waist, because they don’t mark the packages with the size of the leg holes and I haven’t figured out what waist size would have leg holes big enough to get on easily. Probably by the time I got leg holes that big the underwear would just fall off if I stood up too quickly anyway.

PSA, Opus

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