Before I say anything else, I want you to know that I love you just as you are. I am not sure how, as a society, we go about establishing impossible standards by which we all, inevitably, judge our bodies, but I love you know matter how misshappen, or shapen, you might be. Our bodies are just whirls of dust and pools of energy that our minds ride shotgun in until oblivion comes calling, and it’s time to fertilize the grass and trees.
Having said all that, it’s weird to me that we chose to pack ourselves into sausage casings and then ride around town and call it a sport.
Like, if I wrapped myself in plastic wrap and went to the grocery store, I’d get arrested (Sir, clearly, we can see you’re nuts. <rim shot> You’re welcome.) But somehow, if we roll up in the equivalent “cycling kit” which is opaque instead of transparent, well that’s ok. Nothing to see here.
It’s fair to say we are a prudish species. We cover ourselves in ways that other animals don’t. We have shame. Who thought that up? And I know the story, where some chick bites an apple and a snake is like, “Heads up! You’re nude!” Even as an ex post facto justification for shame and subsequent haberdashery, I find that tall tale strains credulity. You’re telling me that every beach would be a nude beach if a reptile hadn’t somehow convinced a woman to eat a piece of fruit?
It’s an allegory, they say. OK. I’m still packing my man parts into squeezy pants with a diaper sewn in.
Here’s the thing everyone. Roughly 0.2% of you will gain any meaningful aerodynamic advantage from your Lycra cycle-tard. You’re just not that fast. Neither am I. So then it’s about moisture wicking and what? Comfort? Moisture wicking is really just a marketing term for “odor accrual.” Lycra takes the moisture away from your body, filters out the stench produced by your sense of body shame, and leaves you dry and smelling like a cadaver.
Lycra is actually a brand name. The generic term, at least in North America is spandex, which is an anagram of ‘expands.’ That’s true. You can look it up. I would tell you to stop wearing Lycra, but everyone knows “cotton will kill ya.” If you’ve ridden for more than an hour, in summer, in even the finest Egyptian cotton, you know this is also true.
I have three full drawers dedicated to garments made from these unnatural fibers. A gentle musk wafts forth whenever I open one of them.
Look, the bottom line is this. The more of these reviews I write, the more I see how odd and confusing this “sport” is, how we’ve all agreed to some really weird shit that we just do without talking about it very much. You can wear Lycra to ride your bike. You can look as good or as bad (whatever those terms mean in this context) as you want while doing it. You can also ride in a pair of jorts or a cassock if you want, although I don’t really recommend the latter. Either way, I love and accept you as you are, which is misshapen and smelly.