Ask a Random Triathlete: Self-Centered Triathletes and Women’s Bike Seats

Nothing's working up there. Photo: David Goehring/Flickr

On this week’s Ask A Random Triathlete we dish out some truly random advice. Because you all have truly randomly stupid questions. No, we love your questions. As always submit your stupid questions as a comment below, on the forum, or message me, your Random Triathlete.

What is the best way to handle a triathlete who insists on having one-sided conversations with you about themselves. Dig deep and find my inner zen and simply smile and nod? One-up everything they say in my best antagonistic fashion? Punch them square in the baby-maker and tell them to get a life?

I like to yell, “Fuck you, I’m faster than you.” In fact, let me tell you about how fast I am at triathlon. I totally would have won my age group this one time, if I hadn’t cramped at mile 3 of the bike.

Kidding. Actually I’m awesome. I never cramp. 

Honestly, triathletes are why I quit triathlon for a few years. The sport would be great if it just wasn’t for all the people who do it. But then I realized I live in San Francisco and I don’t need to do triathlon to listen to men with too much money talk about themselves. So I came back to the sport and took this attitude: Fuck it, who cares. I highly recommend it.

Why smile and nod when you can just not instead? Why try to one-up them when you can just wave as you pass them on course? Don’t worry about if they need to get a life; it’s so much easier just to live your’s. Basically, when people — triathletes or annoying dudes on planes — insist on talking about themselves even when you are clearly trying to sleep on the flight, I’ve adopted a policy of being coldly polite while continuing to do whatever I was doing in the first place. And then when I’m done doing whatever I was doing in the first place, I leave, and often they continue talking even as I walk away. Once you adopt this attitude, you’ll find that there are lots of triathletes who have the same attitude. Be friends with those people. And then it’ll start trickling into your whole life. You’ll stop caring about strangers arguing with you on Twitter. You’ll forget your Slowtwitch password and never go back. Triathlon will be so much more fun once you stop worrying about all the triathletes.

What happens when a girl rides a bicycle? What is happening to her vagina when it is on a saddle; both normal and split nose? Is it uncomfortable? Is there “insertion?” Does it ever feel good? Where is the clitoris?

When a girl rides a bike, she gets faster at riding bikes.

Oh, that’s not what you meant. Fiiiiiine.

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I don’t really understand this question. Are you under the mistaken impression that women ride horizontally off the front of their saddles, with the nose jammed up inside them like a vibrator? Are you also confused by how we manage to sit on regular chairs or stools? You do know that the vagina is not actually a massive hole that swallows things, right?

Assuming you’re really a 12-year-old masquerading as an adult, here are the answers to your questions: It’s still there; it’s just on top of the saddle. Sometimes. No. Uh, not really? And, here.

My understanding is that for most women the bigger issue is that our sitbones/pubic bones are differently positioned than men’s. When we’re forced to ride men’s bike seats, then the weight ends up getting poorly distributed, which is painful. And probably why many women prefer wider saddles — though that may just be shrink-it-and-pink-it style marketing. Hard to say. And, sure, every person is a unique butterfly and every seat is different, so, yeah, sure, some women find that things get pinched and crushed down there. Most of us, though, sit on a bike seat just like we sit on any seat.

Look, imagine you didn’t have testicles — cue the obvious joke — and yet, somehow, you can still ride a bike. That’s what it’s like.

About the Author

Kelly O'Mara
Kelly is a reporter and writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She quit triathlon for a few years, because triathletes can be annoying, but now she's back into it and only hanging out with the non-annoying triathletes. She blogs about stuff at Sunny Running.