Get our free newsletter
Gear Prudence: Cyclists love to cruise slowly toward red lights if they think it might turn green by the time they reach it. That way they never have to come to a complete stop. But shouldn’t there be a limit? If you’re 100 feet from the light and there are other people behind you, I think it’s rude to intentionally go as slow as possible. Prepare to get passive-aggressively passed. That’s OK, right?—Go, Lingerer! I Demand Effort
Dear GLIDE: Sure, pass away! Think of all the things you can do while you’re waiting at the red light with your foot down instead of casually cruising towards the intersection. You could sip some coffee, check your work email, examine your shoes for scuff marks, or tackle the big philosophical questions in life, like why prigs are constitutionally incapable of enjoying the simple pleasure of slowly gliding on a bicycle. Pass if you must, but GP is with the laggards. Why rush just to stop a hundred feet hence? It’s not like you’re getting there any faster. You’ll wait at the red light, and as it turns green and you push off, you’ll be passed by the chill rider. Just imagine how frustrated you’ll feel then. But more than that, it’s not a race, so why not just sit back, relax, and enjoy? Oh, because Type-A D.C. nutjobs are incapable of relaxing for even the scant few seconds it takes to slowly roll to a green light and must instead make something as leisurely as a bike ride into some kind of fraught competition? Yes, there’s that. —GP
Gear Prudence: It’s summer and it’s hot. I’m still biking to work and while I’m OK with the sweat, I’m experiencing certain maladies “down there” that are extremely uncomfortable. Without getting too graphic, let’s just say that it gets pretty tender and really, really hurts sometimes. Is this just a thing that’s going to happen if I keep biking in the summer heat? —Seeking Obvious Remedy [Explicit]
Dear SORE: It’s something that happens and can happen quite a lot, but fear not: Saddle sores needn’t bedevil you permanently or scare you away from the bike for the remainder of the summer. There’s no one solution to discomfort in your nether region, but there are certainly some things that you should consider if you wish to alleviate your issues. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness, so, you know, bathe occasionally. Also, think about your fabric choices. Cotton, for example, is bad. You might want to consider adjusting your seat—your bike seat—for height, horizontal placement, and its pitch. If you’re going long distances, there are chamois creams you can apply in advance to reduce friction. And finally, if things are really bad, take some time off of the bike. Seriously. It’s hard to imagine that the benefits of cycling wouldn’t be outweighed by pain and inflammation. Treat yourself. Like, medically. —GP
Gear Prudence is Brian McEntee, who tweets @sharrowsDC. Got a question about bicycling? Email email@example.com.