Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Save Your Seat

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Save Your Seat

Article excerpt

Q I'm tiding a bike through New Zealand this winter and was wondering if you had any suggestions for preventing (or at least coping with) the inevitable pains that are sure to afflict my, um, rear end? SHAUNA LIVINGSTON, Toronto

A The most important three things to remember before embarking on a multiday bike tour, according to Chris Cole, director of the annual AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, are a comfortable seat, a properly fitting bicycle, and time in the saddle. "The more she rides and trains, the better she's going to feel all around," Cole says. While your first instinct may be to get the widest, most cushy seat available, remember that the more direct contact your body has with the surface of the seat, the more likely it is to cause chafing. Many bicyclists prefer leather seats to plastic because they conform to the contours of your body over time. No matter how unstylish they may seem, Lycra cycling shorts' lightly padded liner could literally save your arse. And to help reduce the friction between your perineum and the seat, Cole recommends keeping your sensitive spots lubricated with Butt Balm or Chamois Butter. "It's less viscous and more comfortable than Vaseline." When you're out there cruising up and down the rolling hills of Kiwi country, pedal standing up as much as possible (this is called "honking," a term originated in England and also used in New Zealand).

Q When I travel i'm paranoid that the X-ray machine at the security check will damage my film, so I end up packing my digital camera instead. Can X-ray machines really harm unexposed film? PEGGY SHARP, Reno

A The higher-powered post-9/11 security scanners used for carry-on baggage generally have no effect on undeveloped film under ASA/ISO 800--unless it passes through more than five times. To be safe put your film in a clear plastic bag without the canisters and request a hand inspection, especially if you plan on passing through multiple X-ray machines. …

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