Anyhow, I've decided to respond to a stupid question every now and then. Here's this week's question:
Dear Bike Wreck Idiots--
I have borrowed a friend's skinsuit for the time trial this weekend. Not too bad, since I know he's an incredibly hygenic fellow. However, the guy before him, well, there are some known unknowns in that question.
I'll be swaddling my taint in the apparel tonight. Am I being a cyclotic?
Excellent question, Jackie. I'd been thinking about the very question myself. The other day while browsing craigslist for used bikes (and, let's be honest, I was actually on the site for another reason--wondering why the "skill'd trade" category omits the letter "e") it occurred to me that the popular social networking / informal market / human belittlement site might be the kind of place where one finds used bib shorts for sale.
Belittlement indeed. I soon found this:
Specialized bibshorts size small very comfy pad in good shape with about 6 rides
Used bib shorts--especially a stranger's used bib shorts--conjure up the revolting human wretchedness of an MC Rove.
No need to think about it; it's just disgusting and should be voted out of office either directly or indirectly.
But should we just rely on visceral reaction? What does science say in the matter?
Here's a fair question: which is worse, used bib shorts or used toilet seats?
Two factors in favor of bib shorts:
(1) They have been washed and dried between asses (i.e., between asses of different people);
(2) They have been sullied only by one previous wearer, whereas toilet seats have been sullied by hundreds, if not thousands of asses.
One factor against used bib shorts is the little bit of vomit that comes into one's throat just thinking about swaddling one's pristine taint in the detritus of another man's crotchal presence. Truly, it's disgusting. There's no getting around it.
But a lot of disgusting things are perfectly hygenic: broccoli, Oprah's minge, recumbants, and most of Florida (some parts of the state are indeed both disgusting and unhygenic).
In conclusion, Jackie, let me say that I think it's a legitimate question, and that if you do decide to wear borrowed chamois, be liberal with the rubbing alcohol and bleach, and remember that all the scrubbing in the world can't save your filthy soul.