The Provocations of Biking

The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research.

Discoveries made possible by person-powered wheeled vehicles
Compiled by D.L.N Travasco, AIR staff

Bicycling presents both an opportunity and a source for insights into human anatomy, physiology and, in a variety of ways, psychology. Here are several published reports on what might be called bicycle science.

Biking 1
Bicyclist’s Vulva: Observational Study,” (link NSFW) Luc Baeyens, British Medical Journal, vol. 325, July 20, 2002, pp. 138-9. The author is at Brugmann University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium.

Biking 2
Bicyclist’s Nipples,” B. Powell, Journal of  the  American  Medical  Association, vol. 249, 1983, p. 2457.

Biking 3
Effects of Altering Cycling Technique on Gluteus Medius Syndrome,” B.N. Green, C.D. Johnson, and A. Maloney, Journal of Manipulative  and Physiological Therapeutics, vol. 22, no. 2, February 1999, pp. 108-13. The authors, who are at  the Palmer College of Chiropractic West, San Jose, California, report that:

A  24-year-old  male amateur  cyclist  had numbness  and  tingling localized to a small region on the superior portion of the right buttock.... The cyclist had received chiropractic adjustments 2 days before the onset of the symptoms. One week earlier, the patient began riding a new bicycle with different gearing than his previous one.... Repetitive strain of the patient’s gluteus medius muscle as a result of poor cycling technique appeared to be the cause here.

Biking 4
Familial Idiopathic Priapism in a 48-Year-Old Man: Self-Treatment Through Bicycling,” F. Sommer, S.  Nazari, T. Klotz and U. Engelmann, BJU International, vol. 89, 2002, p. 791. (Thanks to Peter Melvoin for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at University Medical Centre of Cologne, Germany.


This article is republished with permission from the September-October 2005 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can purchase back issues of the magazine or subscribe to receive future issues, in printed or in ebook form. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift! Visit their website for more research that makes people LAUGH and then THINK.

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