Archive for the Private Cycling Category

Cycling & Modesty

Posted in Private Cycling on June 17, 2011 by bethleasure

Nature Break

53“Taking a nature break on the fly…One of the most interesting errr, weird things on an open circuit like this is that there’s really nowhere to really relieve yourself.” A proper TV announcer trying to explain cameras rolling while a racer pees

What works in a race may be illegal in an Aspen restaurant

Peeing on the bike has nothing to do with incontinence and more to do with the law and modesty. Public urination is against the law but not out of line with cycling ethics. It’s important to switch gears and behavior between private training routes and public venues however. Just like the same tactics of intimidation which may lead to a victory in a bike race will not work in public in real life.


On long races, male riders go to the backside of the peloton to pee. Nothing is noticeable except slight slowing and spray. A rider was disqualified for doing this mid-pack in a criterium along a course crowded with spectators in a conservative Midwestern town. Honestly, I admired his skill in executing this at speed while cornering but officials saw it differently.


Although I peed in my shorts a few times during races, it’s perhaps harder for a female to do unless the pace slows during a warm rain. The women’s pack agrees to stop en masse by roadside. I admit I’ve had my arse to the wind for an entire caravan to witness, although I don’t see the appeal of staring at a crouching backside.


What’s done in a race situation would be appalling in a shopping mall for instance. What was I thinking – scores of people just watched me urinate – doesn’t go through your mind on the way to a race-winning climb. You just do it or you can’t concentrate to race hard.


Cultural customs vary and who knows where others stand or squat on this issue? InAmericathis can offend local authorities to the point of withdrawing future event support. It may also repulse conservative local populations where modesty is particularly emphasized. In European sports halls post-race, men and women shower together so perhaps preaching public modesty is a pissing contest outsideAmerica. Wherever you stand or sit on this issue, drinking less electrolyte-laden fluids isn’t the answer. Try to pick the right spot at the right time.


Prayer for Public Modesty

“…take special care to dress up some parts of our bodies…modest about our personal parts.” 541 Corinthians 12:23


Although today’s topic retains a sense of humor, we confess we sometimes ignore local customs and the law to relieve ourselves, perhaps offending some. We pray for considerations of modesty, and for the public to look the other way.


Ponder Do I want to watch a spectator drop his/her drawers and pee in front of me? No! Affirm I hold it or pick the right place at the right time, and I don’t pee in public when not racing. Watch for private places or moments of relief.



53“Bicycle Pee Break,” Added by sportsnetwork on April 27, 2008 on

54The Bible, Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society

External Iliac Artery Endofibrosis

Posted in Private Cycling on March 24, 2011 by bethleasure

Puzzling Area

58” I’m trying to get my leg figured out…Today I was great on the bike.  I feel like superman, and better every day…my left leg seems really swollen and turgid [stilted] after the Time Trial in particular when I am having the rest of these nasty sensations. If I keep the hammer down, it starts to be bad, after a while it starts to feel tight, and like it’ll take no more.” Robbie King, Cyclist, noting inconsistency in sensation and performance during a very fit period, eventually diagnosed with EIAE 

A vascular condition common to cycling


External iliac artery endofibrosis (EIAE) is an uncommon disease that affects a large number of athletes and cyclists in particular. Possible causes remain a mystery but one study shows a direct relationship with 59overdeveloped psoas, hip flexors used to propel forward motion. The usual profile for this condition is someone who began riding as an adolescent and engaged in top level competition early. This describes most of the pro and elite racing categories and a lot of top veteran riders.

The principal complaint is intermittent claudication, or ache, cramp, numbness or a tired leg at near-maximal exercise. Confusion and negligence cause the condition to go undiagnosed because mostly the rider feels fine.

60Well known riders with the condition describe balls-to-the-wall rides that come to a halt because one leg just stops, unable to pedal. Its mysterious symptoms are easy to ignore as cramps or tingling or a loss of power in one leg may occur only a few times per season. The sensations may hinder more during cooler weather or in intense events without a long warm-up. Eventually, those who need surgery experience the symptoms with more frequency.

There are a few vascular specialists in the world who readily recognize the symptoms of this condition and can treat it successfully. Testing for it is a specific procedure that requires expert analysis. This diagnostic puzzle coupled with its mystifying symptoms make it hard on motivated riders, trained to avoid pain, to address the perplexing condition without feeling wimpy or questioning themselves. But the condition is real. Blood pressure that drops in the affected leg can dangerously rise elsewhere.

Prayer re: External Iliac Arterial Endofibrosis (EIAE)

 “God threw a barricade across my path—I’m stymied; he turned out all the lights—I’m stuck in the dark.” 61Job 19:8

We confess it’s easy to blame God when things are mysterious or unsettling. We ask for right diagnoses and healing for those suffering with EIAE.

Ponder Do I know anyone who requires an extensive warm-up to clear blocked leg(s)? Affirm I steer others in the right direction by knowing about EIAE. Watch artery or nerve sensations and report them to your doctor; ask specifically about EIAE.

58Conversations with Robbie King. We were fortunate in Robbie’s case to quickly assemble a team of medical experts and cyclists who had experienced EIAE. So while we were puzzled for several months, we got a clear direction for diagnosis and treatment. Robbie had inguinal release surgery and returned to pro racing within a reasonable recovery period; however ultimately, it did affect his career. About half dozen American pro’s had EIAE surgery that season. It seemed almost contagious.

59“External iliac artery endofibrosis: a new possible predisposing factor,” Journal of Vascular Surgery, Volume 38 Issue 1 Pages 180 – 182 V. Scavèe

60“Vanthourenhout better after surgery,” 9/5/07 and “An interview with Stuart O’Grady: Like having new legs,” by Karen Forman, 2002 Interview Also for a not so fortunate incident post-surgery see, “Barloworld’s Cox dies following surgery,” Posted Aug. 1, 2007

61The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Cyling’s Private Parts

Posted in Private Cycling on February 18, 2011 by bethleasure

Private Parts

49“This isn’t the usual bicycle seat/numbness discussion — it involves pain when NOT cycling, pretty much constantly, and often in more than one [private] area, moving around.” Posted by tilyou1, a Bicyclist in misery

Not a delicate picture but a delicate area

This is where ignoring or overcoming pain becomes not the trait of an invincible champion but gross neglect of a real condition. As riders we train to increase our pain tolerance; but this is a very different kind of pain. Nerve issues should never be tolerated, ignored, or discounted.

Pudendal Nerve Entrapment (PNE) is similar to carpel tunnel except its location is around the sit bones. Hard to treat, 50it’s so common in bicyclists that’s it’s been labeled, Cyclist’s Syndrome. Difficult to diagnose because the pattern and place of pain may move, it occurs both suddenly or develops over time. It is treatable through various means, including surgery and physical therapy, but the earlier the treatment the better. Quality of life can be greatly affected not just by the lack of enjoyable riding, but persistent pain or problems off the bike.

51A concern for female cyclists is urine leakage when pelvic floor muscles are weakened perhaps through childbirth or from endurance activity. One can have a six-pack of ab muscles and still encounter problems with pelvic floor musculature. There are urogynelogical approaches to this private problem.

An important consideration with any condition is to find a medical team that is both knowledgeable and sympathetic to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of an endurance athlete. Being off our bikes isn’t like hanging up any hobby. It is an attachment, a mindset, and a lifestyle that’s not easily replaced by inactivity during recovery time. Riders uncertain about their conditions and treatments experience real and valid feelings of loss.

Prayer re: Cyclist’s Syndrome

“…some people end up as know-it-alls who treat others as know-nothings. Real knowledge isn’t that insensitive.” 521 Corinthians 8:7

We are glad that knowledge about certain private conditions is becoming more public. We pray for the right treatment and healing for sufferers in these sensitive areas.

Ponder Am I smug about the suffering of others? Affirm I sympathize with loss even without understanding causes or conditions. Watch for opportunities to encourage and support cycling colleagues experiencing grief from sensitive areas, physical and otherwise.

49“‘Cyclists’ Syndrome’ (medical) aka Pudendal Nerve Entrapment,” posted by tilyou1 on 4/15/04

50“Introductory Frequently Asked Questions,”

51“Peeing on the Run,” Posted by Michelle Grainger on 4/19/2008

52The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Road Rash

Posted in Private Cycling on June 29, 2010 by bethleasure

Tattooed Tips

62“Oooow, %#* that! Ugggh M%$#@*%-F%$*#$! It’s foaming, ohmmm, ow, auuuhh, I took off some meat. That one there is pretty deep.” Rick, bike crash victim, while cleaning his wounds

Bragging rights?


Road rash bites. It’s particularly bad to have it symmetrically, both elbows, both shoulders, both hips. Even turn-left trackies get total body road rash. The good news is you don’t have to look like a one-turn wonder; the bad news is that there’s no painless side to roll over while sleeping. Its scarred remnants are show-and-tell objects that spice up cycling’s war stories to impress your buddies deep into the night. This isn’t true for female friends by the way who will probably be revolted by this boasting and bloodshed and roll their eyes. Nor spouses who may become annoyed at not being able to snuggle with a mummified oozing mate.

The tattoos of cycling risk adorn the tips of us – skinned shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles, often hands and sometimes cheeks and chins. Kidding aside, these wounds need care to heal properly and scar less. Nerve endings are exposed so cleaning the wound is like repeated breathtaking sprints.

Here are some tips. Gently scrub out road debris using soap and water as other 63agents have been found to be too abrasive. Apply a non-toxic surfactant or antibiotic ointment, and then use a semi-permeable bandage. The wound heals from the deepest layer up and the outer edges inward. Keep the wound moist until healed as it promotes tissue formation and guards from infection. Begin airing it when it has a pink smooth layer unless you plan to race, then it may be better not to risk a second skid on the same place. Keep your tetanus shots up to date and legs shaved. This is where the sexy norm of smooth legs in road cycling has its justification. Make sure your group of training cronies or race crew has a road rash kit.

Prayer for Road Rash Care

 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 64Isaiah 53:5

We are glad that time and proper care heals our wounds. We pray for courage to clean the wound and the right equipment for road rash care.

Ponder Do I or my team have a first aid kit that travels with us? Affirm I understand how to clean my wounds. Watch the wound to know when to change dressings.

62“Ricks Bike Crash,” a video by xsoylentx  October 22, 2007

63“Skin Abrasions and ‘Road Rash’ Treatment,” by Elizabeth Quinn

64The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Cycling & Sex

Posted in Private Cycling on April 30, 2010 by bethleasure

Sacred Places

55” What do I think about while riding…sex, of course.” Lance Armstrong, Pro Cyclist

You want your bike in bed or winning races?

We go everywhere this week from nose to nuts. In fact, the more private the subject, the greater is the need for prayer and contemplation. So here we thrust into an enjoyable private pursuit in the context of cycling performance. KISS is my best advice. Keep It Simple Stupid.

This is not so much a sermon on biblical morality, as it is on practicality. There are consequences for sexual intimacy. Romantic relationships don’t last outside of caring, commitment, and communication. Sex complicates the process of forming commitment and building relational skills which will sustain every peak and valley of attraction. Emotional consequences cloud judgment.

For men trying to succeed in cycling, the energy drain pursuing sex can derail a training plan. Pursuing the heart of a woman is complicated enough. You won’t exit her bedroom without a price, even if the sex is free. For women, using sex to attain lasting intimacy is futile. Intimacy is based on trust not touch. For both genders, there is an emotional and physical toll when non-marital sexual experiences become a focus. Where differing intentions and expectations exist, sex is entangling in a negative way. Men and women can feel used and worn out in its pursuit. With staggering statistics on sexually transmitted diseases, protecting one’s health is a big case for abstinence and marital fidelity. There are 56costly consequences like unwanted pregnancies or relational entanglements held hostage by sexual history.

Note that happily married cyclists probably have a competitive advantage. A whole aspect of life is settled, presumably satisfied; committed support is dedicated toward other pursuits, like cycling, another great passion. What to do with all that training or racing-induced testosterone? Put it into the bike hopeful the right lover who cares about you (and therefore your cycling) will come at the right time.

Prayer for Sexuality
“Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.” 57Hebrews 13:4

We are thankful for life’s pleasures. We confess we misuse sex for selfish release or manipulate it for relationship. We pray for sacred choices.

Ponder Do I believe sex is purely pleasurable, free of consequences? Affirm I am responsible with my body and another’s emotions. Watch your urges and think through actions.

55“Talking Cycling: Today Bill Talks With Lance,” December 15, 1997

Copyright ©1995-2002 Knapp Communications Pty Ltd.

Thanks to Jeff Williams of Grace & Truth Relationship Education for editorial help with this section.

56U.S. Government funds abstinence education because of its financial benefits due to tremendous outlays from the welfare system. A recent study showed $112 billion/year cost to U.S. taxpayers related to divorce and unwed childbearing. “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing: First-Ever Estimates for the Nation and All Fifty States,” by Benjamin Scafidi, Principal Investigator for Institute of American Values

57The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Saddle Comfort

Posted in Private Cycling on April 27, 2010 by bethleasure

Personal Points

47“There are only three points of contact between you and your bike. Your feet press on the pedals, your hands rest on the handlebars and your bum perches on your saddle! The choice of saddle is an extremely personal one.”  Why Cycle? advice forum

After a lot of miles, it doesn't have to feel like this

In the spirit of Easter, sometimes it’s one’s own body that needs to be resurrected. We turn to touchy subjects this week as a focus for pondering and for perhaps palpable affirmations. The most private point of contact with the bike demands a most personal responsibility to find the right combination for health and well-being. Saddle friction and private hygiene account for saddle soreness. While the bike is no easy chair, saddle discomfort is not inevitable. There are measures to take for correcting an uncomfortable underside. Experiment with saddle position checking height, fore-aft, and whether level or tilted. Keep records of changes. There have never been more choices for saddle types – width, length, materials, and cut-outs. Ask a reputable bike shop to test-ride saddles so you can mount your unique match. There is something out there for everyone and while it may not be as sleek as a marketed “top of the line” model; it doesn’t have to be a tractor seat to give you the undergirding necessary for comfortable carriage.

Persnickety and cautious pros sometimes mount unusual favorites – out of sight of sponsor photographs, they hope. Pros also know that cycling shorts are meant for cycling and quickly change into clean street clothing soon after rides. Friction can be reduced further with chamois creams and lubricants. Favoring one of those is also a point of personal choice.

Don’t expect that riding comes with a complete lack of seated comfort. You don’t have to take up knitting to avoid misery from posterior agony leaving you to focus on the good suffering. The point is, don’t neglect this most important area of your private riding life.

Prayer for Saddle Comfort
“‘Comfort, oh comfort my people,’ says your God.” 48Isaiah 40:31

We are glad for a variety of seating arrangements. We confess we neglect our softer sides at times. We pray for expert assistance and experimental options in a quest for saddle comfort.

Ponder Do I justify a chafed rear-end? Have I found my comfortable choice? Affirm I pick a frictionless touch point where flesh meets frame. Watch soreness increase if neglected and make some new choices.

47“Increasing cycling comfort: Bike Saddles,”

48The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society