Monday, October 25, 2010

Bicycles and derrieres...

with apologies to the 5th Sister I quoth only a portion of the poem "D is for Derriere"

...These derrieres are everywhere
In every place I seek.
I bet you'll find them in the air
If you "butt" take a peek.

derriere, from Old French derrier, back part, rear, from derier, adverb, behind.
Most of the time that I ride a round I happen to be going quite fast, normally not a whole lot of tooling around. As such I am constantly catching up to other riders, coming up behind them, before passing with a wave, a hello, good morning or what not.
While this is not the preferred angle, I would rather see smiling faces (I know they are smiling simply because they are riding), I have noticed upon looking back through my photos, that this backside view does show up with some frequency. So why the heck not make a post about the views from the rear?
synonyms: backside, behind, booty, bottom, breech, bum, buns, butt, caboose, can...

cheeks, buttocks, duff, fanny, fundament, hams, haunches, heinie, hindquarters, hunkers...

keister, nates, posterior, rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tush, beam, stern, moon

"But if we can stop judging the appearances of our backsides long enough to understand their anatomy and cycling physiology, we can find many reasons to appreciate the locomotive uses of our cabooses."
"Love Your Butt" by Delaine Fragnoli at

"Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round
Get on your bikes and ride" - Queen

You can quote all the other "shake your booty" songs you want, as well as any more current raps with similar themes, of which I am sure there are a lot, until you are blue in the face. Queen's "Fat-bottomed Girls" is still the song by which all others in the genre must be judged.
"Yeow! Ow! My biscuits are burnin'" - Yosemite Sam

*There is no connection between the keisters portrayed herein, and any song references to large bottoms. The author simply sought references from popular culture, and these were the result. Fact is, most of these posteriors would likely be blue ribbon award winners, if such a thing existed.
"Your butt is the seat of your cycling power, so to speak. Among the largest and strongest of all muscle groups, the gluteals in your rump aid hip extension and rotation, helping you initiate strenuous movements like climbing stairs, squatting and pedaling." 
"Love Your Butt" by Delaine Fragnoli at

"Cycling didn't make my butt fat but instead actually gave me one where there wasn't any before!" Sa-weet!" - kee73, at

"What? Cycling gave me my tight ass! I don't know who thinks that it makes UR butt fat. That's just silly." - danceralamode, at

 "Butts are the domestiques of cycling muscles: hard-working, unappreciated powerhouses that get none of the glamour of the legs..."         - "Love Your Butt" on

"...Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah
Fat bottomed girls they'll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah..." - "Bicycle Race", Queen

Now, I know your eyes have been focused on the derrieres and that's fine, that is the topic of the post, but drag your eyes away just a bit, a little lower and consider for a moment the saddle. Use the proper term and call it what it is, saddle, not seat. Rather than make you jump to a link, I quoth in short from Sheldon Brown here to explain the difference: "a bicycle's saddle is not intended to support the rider's entire weight" while a seat is "the chair-like fitting the rider of a recumbent sits on."
You may notice all different shapes and sizes of saddles, from the hard, skinny racing types, to the broad, cushy "comfort" ones. If you happen to be one of those riders who can not imagine your derriere perched upon a racing saddle consider the following: Racing type saddle are designed for performance, and when I say performance I do not just mean racing. Performance can relate to, and in this case does, everyday activity as well. They are designed to optimize the transference of power or force from the legs, buttocks, and back to the pedals and drivetrain of the bike, while minimizing the loss of energy during transfer from body to bike. Those cushy saddles that you sink into on beach cruisers and townies, they are a detriment when it comes to transferring power. Another point to consider is that the larger the saddle the greater the area of contact. If you only ride on short trips around town or campus, this may not be important, but is still something to consider. There are any number of websites that will provide you with information on choosing the appropriate saddle, just search "how to choose a bicycle saddle", but in the end these are only so many words, and they can in no way replace an actual test; you owe it to your posterior to find the best saddle for it.

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