ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
Spring sprang yesterday. And so we have the rain coming and going like a hummingbird.
Take chance and wear shorts. Get soaked in a thundering downpour. Enjoy a rainbow.
And … don’t forget your prophylactic!
Yes, I have to apologize because it is long past time we had the prophylactic talk. I know it’s awkward, but let’s be grown-ups.
We all know the ugly condition known as “wet butt” can easily be transmitted via bicycle seat.
But are you always careful about using prophylactics? Be honest, now. Just rolled the dice once or twice, have you?
Well, you should always be careful about protecting yourself. It’s not just wet butt. You leave your bike outside, and you really have no idea who has been doing what with your seat. In fact, in some cases, stealing it might be the best thing someone could do for you.
Short of that, there is a simple and effective way to practice safe outdoor winter/spring bicycle parking. Technically known as the “petroleum-based prophylactic seat cover,” most of us know it as the “plastic bag” (because it may be a difficult mental reconciliation for cyclists who are snooty about not using petroleum.)
So, herewith, I think nothing really can say it better than a photo gallery of responsibly protected bicycle seats that have been spotted around Eugene during this most recent season of rain:
They come in stylish basic black:
This one looks like it’s wearing a bow tie:
Now, wait a second. A perforated prophylactic would seem to defeat the purpose. (And what is that cylindrical object tucked inside the sweat sock?):
Those of you more lovingly endowed may need to employ the Magnum:
And even if it’s not especially wet out, it’s wise to employ a prophylactic anyway when your bar ends are in a fully excited state.
And please remember that no prophylactic is 100 percent fail-proof:
Uh oh! …
… catastrophic prophylactic failure! (It actually looks like some kind of bird head.)
OK, let’s wrap up with a couple of usage tips:
You never know when you might get unlucky — especially with the fickle springtime weather. You park your bike in the glorious sunshine and return to it in a pounding downpour.
So, if you are heading out for a night on the town, you can tuck a prophylactic conveniently into the underside of your saddle …
… and rest assured that it will be there if you need it.
Now, normally you would put on the prophylactic when you park your bike — in case it rains while you are away — and then take it off when you are ready to ride again.
For example, this woman had just removed her prophylactic after emerging from Vero and unlocking her bicycle:
But there is another way to use the prophylactic in an emergency. Say you forget to install the prophylactic before leaving your bike outside. Let’s say it rains while you are away. Let’s say your seat is all wet when you return.
What are you to do? Well, it’s clearly time for “Plan B”:
Yes, it is controversial, but you can install it after the fact, a sort of morning-after solution for the cyclist who sometimes engages in risky behavior.