“There’s as much penis inside the body as outside. When you sit on a regular bike saddle, you’re sitting on your penis.”--Dr. Shrader in the New York Times
This has to be one of the more interesting observations ever submitted to the venerable New York Times. By a doctor, no less.
I find it a little obscure, and also completely disrespectful to the cycling world, since it ignores our own nomenclature, our agreed-upon terminology. Look, Dr. Shrader, it's called a taint, and all you need is an axe-shaped, completely hard seat, a chamois well-buttered with DZ's, and you're good to go. If you want us to ride on puffs of air and the much ballyhooed "sit bones" instead of brass and leather saddles and our mythic "internal peni," please speak to us in a language we understand.
Also, I think Dr. Shrader's "50% is inside" claim has a ring of inauthenticity to it. Has he gone around and done the footwork on this one? Gangsta rap surely provided a large natural experimental database which could be useful in providing basic numbers, but I'm going to suggest this is a skewed and possibly exaggerated sample, with measurement error and externalities corrupting the data.
Further evidence of Shrader's quackery: he provides no explanation for how he measures internal penis length. I mean, women don't go around saying they have a 12" anything--and for good, statistically sound reason. You can't measure that.
I'm calling pseudo-science on this so-called doctor.
But I'm thinking like a roadie.
Triathletes and time trial afficianados may feel differently. I imagine they will greet Dr. Shrader's ratio announcement with joy, since these wind-doping enthusiasts obsess about aerodynamics and tidiness and nothing brings them as much pleasure as the thought of tucking things inside so the wind doesn't flap them about.
As in, my cables aren't small, just internally routed, as on Giant's new road bikes.
In the end, it's about reproduction: there are once again concerns about whether sitting on your penis, as normal saddles force one to do, impairs one's ability to reproduce.
My own issues with saddles have been the discomfort I've felt, particularly when I'm trying to TT. The pain was most acute when last year I did two 40k TTs in a row, and my internal penis was absolutely killing me afterwards. I read about Lance Armstrong's switch to the ISM saddle, also a favorite of Chicago policemen, according to the Times article, and put in a few bids on ISM saddles on eBay.
Then last week I saw this contraption parked at the IMF, near my own office:
I wasn't sure whether this was an actual bike seat or simply pads taken from the leg curl machine or Bowflex and miraculously the same diameter as a seatpost.
Instead of a saddle, there are simply two pads running perpendicular to the bike frame. I suppose the rump is supposed to perch atop the pads, but I'm not sure what keeps the rider from sliding fore and aft. Sure you won't fall off the sides of that saddle, but sitting on it has to be a little like solo emo log rolling (which, there is apparently a world championship of...).
I did a little research and found that there are several similarly unorthodox bicycle seat-type contraptions:
The BiSaddle, the Laz-E-Boy of bike seating devices, a device which provides a bike seat for both ass cheeks, and, judging by the picture (taken from BiSaddle's website), appropriate for the super wide loads among us, those of us, ironically, most likely to be uninvited to attempt what the seat enables (i.e., procreation):
Most other models (the Hobson, Spiderflex, the Ergo seat) follow the same principle: provide extraordinary width and no length. None of the saddles have a nose, following the advice of Dr. Irwin Goldstein of Boston U, who states, "...as long as a saddle has a nose--the case with most new designs--it isn't safe."
But let's not stop there. Those who hump all day on office chairs on their internal peni--better not. Demand safe coddling of your internal penis! Do the same for your car manufacturers!
Let's start tracking erection time during sleep, as was done in Dr. Shrader's study. Because who doesn't dream of 4% improvement in erection time while trying to sleep (as was achieved by Chicago policement who switched from cruel, penis-punishing saddles to wonderful buttocks-craddling saddles)?
My life would be completely transformed! I'd be a lot more tired and irritable!
But does America need more erect penises? Who's to say that we would benefit more from flaccidity. I think of a guy like Anthony Weiner, who now has resorted to therapy to cut down his erection time. There's a simple solution, Mr. Weiner: it's called a Brooks saddle, and you should just sit right on your internal penis and ride. Leave your phone at home, please.
Only in America is a four % decrease in nighttime erection seen as a crisis calling for regulation. There are problems with internal peni in America far beyond those caused by noses on bike seats. We just need to get out on our bikes, on or off of our penises, and see them.