The Revenge of the Comfort Bike

Ed. Note: Like a Hockey Player from Hades, Sal Ruibal flew out a culvert on a Cross course somewhere this morning to defend the Comfort Bike, t’aints, and that which is longer and thicker.


Photo: S. Raboin via Bicycle Times.

There comes a time in all men’s lives that they must face the truth that they are on the slippery downhill slope of life.

Women, being the saner sex, are more graceful in dealing with this news and have created billion-dollar industries to disguise and reshape their faces and bodies.

Men deal with it by buying more expensive toys.

For men who ride bicycles for fun and the thrill of spending more per ounce of bicycle than the other guy, there is another signpost on the road to the cemetery. This one is called velo-sexual dysfunction.

The condition is caused by the repeated process of squeezing testicles into tight-fitting shorts that position the genitals for maximum pummeling by saddles made of military-grade table-tennis paddles.

In recent years, bicycle manufacturers have increased the ball-barrage by using materials to create bikes that are light enough to place on a roof-rack with one hand while also directing the same foot-pounds of force created by a highway-grade pneumatic jack-hammer at the area scientists refer to as the t’aint.

This precise targeting was followed by a growing cult of “slamming” a bicycle’s handlebar stem into a horizontal position that created a sonic wave that passes through the rider’s body and down through the saddle, and eventually into the t’aint target area.

Another technological change provided even more reason for men to tenderize their nether regions: Internet viewing of real-time European road bike races held on courses peppered with sections of bread-loaf-sized stones known as pave’, or cobblestones.

These races are marketed as being historic and only for the most manly of men, but the real truth is that the pubic pounding left many of these “hard men” as soft velo-eunuchs incapable of reproducing themselves. When was the last time your heard of a pave’ specialist with a child named Junior?

As is their wont, bicycle manufacturers decided to play on both sides of the street, so they began marketing special bicycles that would cure the disease they had created.

The so-called “comfort bike” emerged, but its flaccid frame and engorged saddle could not attract male buyers willing to pay three months salary for a tad of relief. The comfort bike then became a “woman-specific” bike that completed the circle by being manufactured in pink only.

The solution came in drips and drabs, but truly bloomed with the Specialized Roubaix SL, which by its name, shouted its rock-hard manliness while also reducing t’aint-terror with anti-ballistic Zertz inserts that shot down concussive forces before they could reach their targets. The Roubaix also had longer chainstays and thicker handlebars. Longer and thicker: The Holy Grail of aging road cyclists everywhere.

There are now several models of anti-t’aint-terrorist road bikes, including the new Trek Domane, which Trek says should be pronounced as Dough-MON-nee.

But Seinfeld fans will remember that for real men, one must be Master of His Domain. And that goes double for road cyclists.

2nd Ed. Note: Sal has more column inches than Byron, is in the MTB Hall of Fame, and writes guest columns where and when he damn pleases.

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