Category Archive:Cycling

Normal Sperm in the BBC

Sore Testicles

Why Cyclists Should Wear Black Shorts

Why Cyclists Should Wear Black Shorts

“Oh dear!”, I thought, when I read this article on the BBC news today….

Elite cyclists ‘risk infertility’

Read the article.  Apparently…

“The Spanish study of top triathletes found those who cover more than 186 miles (300km) a week on their bikes have less than 4% normal looking sperm.”

Well I do a bit less than that, so naturally, I thought,

What is the normal amount of good sperms in my jism?

…..as you do, if you’re a bloke, which I am….

A Sperm

A Sperm

Fortunately, the article tells you, a bit lower down.  And it’s at this point, that you become shockingly aware of the piss-poor science and piss-poor interpretive reporting going on….

How so?

Quite simple, really.  They’ve completely buggered up any normal definition of the word,

NORMAL

What the article says is that if you are really fit, your good jism count goes down to ~5%.  This means 1 in 20 sperms are duff!  So for an elite cyclist, normally, most of their sperms are bad.

Come, Come.  You Can’t be Serious!

However, if you are a “normal” bloke, the “normal” amount of fit and healthy sperms is…wait for it… it’s coming…here it is…aaaahhhhh!

15-20%

So in other words, most men’s sperm is 80% duff.  Only 1 in 5 are good!  So for a non-cyclist, normally, most of their sperms are bad.  Exactly the same.

What Is Normal?

Born in 1972 in Uccle, Belgium, Axel is the son of five-time Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx.

Born in 1972 in Uccle, Belgium, Axel is the son of five-time Tour de France champion Eddy Merckx.

This is my point.  It’s normal to have most of my sperm completely incapable of fulfilling their duty.  A fit, elite,  cyclist, by definition, is continuously stressing their body beyond it’s limits, and when the body is stressed it’s secondary functions are put into standby.  It’s the same for women.

The point is the poor use of words.  In the article, the phrase abnormal sperm is used to describe poor viability sperm.  However, most sperm has poor viability!

So poor quality sperm is not abnormal – it’s normal!  It’s the good sperm that’s abnormal, so please get it right!

As an aside, we’ve evolved to have a proponderence of ‘inferior’ sperm.  They are actually necessary to our survival.  Their function is manifold – from the physical one of blocking the passage of later sperm to promote the success of the first individual’s mating, to providing the correct chemical environment for the passge of the more viable sperms.  There is a chemical and biological arms race going on at the microscopic level, about which we are only now just becoming aware.  It’s been happening for a billion years and no doubt will continue for a lot longer…

Research

Chris Boardman and his Son

Chris Boardman and his Son

The Spanish team has just looked at the jism.  They intend to do further research.  Might I suggest they do a statistical analysis of the fecundity of former professional cyclists as a starting point.  Start with “The Animal”, Eddy Merckx and his son Axel.  Then go and chat to Chris Boardman and his son and Bernard Hinault and his.  Go and see the cycling daughter of Britain’s greatest ever cyclist, Beryl Burton.

These people were at the very, very, top of their sport for years and had children.  There are many more like them.  Nuff said.

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French prisoners Ride Tour de France

A Week is a Long Time in..

Peparing for the Tour de FranceQ.  In What?

  • In prison – yes obviously
  • In politics – yes
  • In a relationship – well yes, especially the past week for me
  • In Between News Items….

Yes! That’s the one!

Last week it was announced to the world that 196 convicted French prisoners are going to cycle this years Tour de France route.  See the Reuters News item here which originally reported the story: What could possibly go wrong?

It’s an enlightened bit of prisoner rehabilitation.  The 196 inmates plus 124 obviously fit guards are doing the 17 stages, stopping in towns each night that all have a prison, but staying in hotels.

Now contrast this with the report last month about the shocking state of French jails (Prison guards’ strike hits packed French jails).

In fact, there is no contrast.  It’s the French guards who are protesting about the poor state of things, with five to a cell etc.

Taken in this context, the cycle ride does not sound so strange now, does it?

Today the Ride Sets Off

Penal Tour de France pedals offMany news organisations have reported the start of the run today.  They are all using the same copy, many using the same images as well.

 

FILE - This Wednesday June 4, 2009, file photo shows a pack of convicts, joined by their jailers, preparing to take the start from Villeneuve d'Ascq to Valenciennes, northern France, of the prologue of the "Tour de France Penitentiaire" for the jailed. Most days, they live behind bars. But last week, a pack of convicts, joined by their jailers, a police escort and a string of support vehicles, embarked upon the inaugural two-week, 2,200 kilometer cycling trek across the Gallic countryside, organized by French prison administrators. (AP Photo)

Penal Tour de France pedals off

They all report that 194 prisoners are doing the ride compared to the fact that they all reported that 196 were going to do it last week.

So what happened to the 2 men? !!

Did they, as all the news outlets so humourously remarked, go on a “breakaway sprint” which “are obviously not allowed”?  Or maybe they feared they’d have to cycle through Mulhouse which has this interesting cycle lane to negotiate.

Keeping cycle lanes clear of parked cars is a problem the world over. This design from Mulhouse in France provides a self enforcing solution; yellow bollards have proved to be much more effective than yellow lines at deterring illegal parking. Picture from Warrington Cycle Campaign

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How to Commit Murder, Legally

Introduction

Simple.

@Amazon

  • Live in County Durham, UK
  • Don’t pass the driving test
  • Drive a car, unsupervised, with your partner and her 6-year old child as passengers!
  • Find a cyclist while driving around
  • Make sure the cyclist is not wearing a helmet
  • Knock over the cyclist with your illegally driven and thus un-insured car
  • Make sure the cyclist dies

That’s how!

Quoting from The Journal, Live, here’s what happened:

@AmazonA MOTORIST who had driven for eight years without ever passing a test escaped jail after killing a cyclist.

Denis Moore, 50, regularly drove his partner’s Hyundai Matrix mobility car despite only holding a provisional licence.   Durham Crown Court was told yesterday how he was behind the wheel when he collided with cyclist James Jorgensen at 6pm on September 24 last year.

Mr Jorgensen, 55, of East Shore Village, Seaham, County Durham, was riding round a roundabout near his home when Moore’s car hit him.   He was flung to the ground and died eight days later of severe head injuries.

But Moore, 50, of Byron Terrace, Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, escaped jail after the court was told Mr Jorgensen had not been wearing a safety helmet.

That’s murder in my book.  The man Moore plainly has no consideration for the lives of others and the laws that we have to protect us.

The twat judge is no better and should be strung up or struck off.  Like our forgetful MPs and their expenses, the judge has shown a complete disregard for the law, both literally and in it’s spirit.  The judge’s tiny supposition that “helmets are safe” has completely outweighed the cascade of offences that Moore committed by actually driving on the public highway.  If Jorgenson had lived, what hope would there have been for him to get any damages from Moore?  None!  Because by driving on the road, Moore’s insurance was invalidated and any compensation would have had to be derived from Moore’s limited means.  His partner Bell was the same by allowing the offences.

In fact, it could be argued that Jorgenson, the cyclist, may have cycled differently and avoided a collision if he’d spotted some L-Plates on Moore’s car – but of course, Moore didn’t have any.

What a pair of complete and utter bastards, Moore and the Judge.

The completely un-reasoned argument the judge used could be applied to all ‘accidents’ (I hate that term – they should be called crashes, because that’s what they are, and almost all are completely avoidable).

By the same criteria;

  • Anyone knocked over on the footpath could have been saved by wearing a helmet or a suit of armour.
  • Anyone shot by a gunman could have escaped death by wearing a bullet-proof vest.
  • Anyone killed in a airplane crash should have had a parachute.

It’s the same, stupid, un-reasoned logic that shifts the onus of responsibility onto the injured person.

@AmazonBy The Way, Moore had to pay a £15 ‘victim surcharge’.  That’s the price of a life.

L-Plates are £2.99 from Amazon…

Latest News

I saw this tragic news (Pregnant woman dies in kerb crash) after writing the above today.  Both the woman and her foetus died when hit by a BMW while walking on the footpath.  It’ll be interesting to see if the stupid logic of the previous case is used when justice is finally served…  Should she have been wearing a suit of armour last night?  Can you see the rubbish logic at work now?

See local news link: Pregnant Carlisle woman dies after car mounts pavement

References

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Murderous, Stupid, Boy

ZackThis is the full text of an ‘article‘ posted on the Michigan State University (MSU) news section by ‘the State News opinion writer’ apparently.  Zack (for it is he) has his own particular version of personal rights and responsibilities, somewhat at odds with US law.  His article worked though – he has had a shed load of comment…

Black 2001 Saturn SC2. That’s the car I drive – and if you’re a bicyclist on the road but not in a bike path and you see my car, I hope you’re wearing a helmet, because I might run you over.

Maybe not intentionally.

But you see, with all these things I can do in my car nowadays, such as choose a different song on my iPod, send a text message while driving or fall asleep at the wheel because I had to wake up for a worthless 8 a.m. biology lab, I might not notice you.

And, considering you are where you should not be, I might hit you.

The simple fact of the matter is, MSU has so kindly provided sidewalks for people on foot and Rollerblades, and MSU’s ordinance should be revised to require bicyclists be there too. The university has outlined bike paths on certain roads, but bicyclists can’t just create imaginary bike paths like they do.

I cannot drive my car on the sidewalk, so why must you ride your bicycle where I drive?

Many of my friends ride bicycles on campus, so I’m not trying to berate a whole demographic of students. I appreciate bicyclists who advocate environmentalism, since they are making up for the damage I do with my car.

I respect bicyclists who use bicycles as a form of exercise, since people certainly can never get enough fitness in their everyday routines.

But for as much as I respect and appreciate bicyclists, I will not hesitate to honk at them when they are interfering with the roads.

My concern is not merely about inconvenience.

Bicyclists on the road are a driving hazard to people in automobiles, since many bicyclists make turns without using hand signals and ride too close to other vehicles when there is no designated bike path.

For example, I was driving to work Tuesday when a bicyclist pulled up in front of my car in the right lane on Farm Lane going northbound where it intersects with Shaw Lane. There is no bike path at this portion of the road, and I needed to be in the right lane to avoid the left turn only lane, but the bicyclist was in the way.

Instead, I had to speed ahead and veer away from the fast-approaching rear end of the car in front of me, just barely making it into the right lane.

Some will say I could be more patient on the road.

But roads are for cars, not bicyclists. The bicyclist should not have been in the car lane.

It’s possible some bicyclists are trying to live out their dreams of being Lance Armstrong, and the smooth terrain offered by the roads where big, people-killing cars are designed to travel on are more desirable than the sidewalk pavement.

I get it, bicyclists – you’re in the Tour de France. Well, in your head at least.

But in reality, my gas-guzzling, carbon footprint-leaving car is trying to get around you, the bicyclist. And you, the bicyclist, prefer to coast, not along the side of the lane but in the exact middle.

Maybe in your head you are actually driving a car. Maybe that’s why you believe you should be behind a pickup truck and in front of 15 other cars trying to pass you.

And maybe you are Armstrong, so talented and in shape and able to pedal so, so fast. But Armstrong’s average speed in the 2001 Tour de France was 24.9 mph, which is 0.1 mph less than most of the speed limits on and around campus.

Plus, I’ve had difficulty finding students who actually obey the speed limit anyway.

It’s common for motorists to drive at least 5 mph above the speed limit, which makes your task to out-pedal Lance Armstrong all the more daunting. And considering you’re not actually Armstrong (even if you do wear a skintight yellow bicycle uniform), you likely are not going 24.9 mph.

And, oh yeah, Armstrong is competing when he is bicycling – your leisurely ride through campus might not even register on a police radar.

But, hey, snap out of it. You’re not Lance Armstrong.

And those are the headlights of my black 2001 Saturn SC2 bearing down on you.

Zack Colman is the State News opinion writer. Reach him at colmanz1@msu.edu.

Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Zack’s piece is a prime example of why there are no such things as ‘accidents’. All crashes and killings are someone’s fault – maybe it’s inattention, but it’s everyone’s duty to be attentive. If you can’t do it, get off the road.

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Crap Cycle Lanes and Other Madness

@AmazonThis is an unashamed plug for the Warrington Cycle Campaign.

Their dedicated work over the years has now brought in the first real 20mph zone in their town (see here).  Elsewhere on the website, is an article called The Effect of Cycle Lanes on Cyclists’ Road Space. (pdf file) …

Have a look.  The photos clearly show the effect of road markings on driver behaviour.

Humber Bridge Approach

Humber Bridge Approach

As an aside, now consider these road markings on this ‘safety’ photo from the Warrington Cycle Campaign’s ‘Facility of the Month‘ feature.   Just remind yourself, that highly trained road engineers were paid a dollop of cash for designing this crap. If you were a cyclist, what would you do when confronted by this idiocy?

For myself, the A38 as it hammers down in it’s notional 30mph way through Bridgwater provides even less room than the photos in the report.  I have a few dirty marks on my right elbow from vehicles that have brushed me by….

Funnily enough, if I creep along at 12mph, drivers give me about 2m room usually.  On the other hand, if I’m cycling along at 26mph they give me about 0.5m room – work that one out!!!

The cyclists in Bridgwater don’t make it easy though.  Motorists are inured to the bizarre cycling which goes some way to  validating their behaviour.

  • Q. How so?
  • A.  Well most seem to cycle with a complete arse about tit attitude to personal and other’s safety.

In my journeys to and from the office, I’ve characterised two main types of (adult) cyclist.  Children & teens don’t count.  Adults should know better.

  1. The sort who cycle on the road with rusty bikes and no lights at night.
  2. The sort who cycle along the footpath on brand new Daewoo’s from Halfords, lights showing at night!

So the people with lights cycle on the path – and vice-versa.  Complete madness!  As bad as the road marking engineers!

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