As a cyclist, I voluntarily endure things most normal humans don’t put up with. Leg shaving is an obvious one. Most people shave either their legs or their face. I shave both (though in winter I shave neither). And while I’m at it, I figure I may as well shave my back too. But since I can’t reach that part, I need help. Thanks, Rachel!
Then there’s the willful starvation. I was watching Versus the other day, and they showed a clip of Carlos Sastre in the final time trial from last year’s Tour. He was so skinny, at first I thought he was Kristin Armstrong, who is one of the skinniest women I’ve ever seen. Seems that no matter how much we weigh, it’s always too much.
A perhaps more obvious drawback is the one most non-cyclists are familiar with, and that’s interacting with cars. But really, when it comes right down to it, would you rather be the guy in a tight pink outfit with shaved legs, or the chubby, 20-something in the back seat of his buddy’s PT Cruiser convertible yelling obscenities at said cyclist? That’s what I thought.
(By the way, why on earth would three dudes be driving up American Fork canyon together in a PT Cruiser convertible? Ick.)
Finally there’s the cyclist’s approach to treating ailments. Pro cyclists don’t shake hands with people, don’t touch elevator buttons, use paper towels to open bathroom doors, and probably keep Purel in their jersey pockets. Because if they get sick, they may have to take antibiotics. And antibiotics supposedly have an adverse effect on performance.
This week I have a crit Tuesday night and a 100 mile mountain bike ride on the weekend. So when I came down with a sinus infection on Sunday, I was loathe to start a round of antibiotics. My doctor prescribed some, just in case I need them, but then suggested some alternative treatments, including a neti pot.
For those who have never used a neti pot, it pretty much goes like this: you pour salt water in one nostril and let it drain out the other side. Then repeat on the other side. It’s about as pleasant as it sounds. But as you can imagine, it really clears things out.
For those sensitive to "R" rated words, I advise turning this video, or at least the sound, off about 10 seconds before it ends.
It seems to work. I started the regimen yesterday, and I think my infection is already nearly gone. Don’t think antibiotics would have done the job any faster. Of course now that I’m nearly back to normal, I did about 10 seconds of interweb research and found that my fear of antibiotics was apparently all for naught.