Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Genou

As a follower of this blog, you know that the world of amateur non-competitive cycling is one filled with endless excitement, drama, and spandex. Likely the prospect of belonging to this atmosphere of glory has prompted you start rigorous training, or buy a new bike, or maybe to just try to look out from your car window at those on bicycles with just a tiny bit less outright disgust.

Whatever your reaction, surely it has been transforming. But as a serious amateur dedicated recreational cyclist, I can tell you the transformation happens on and off of the bicycle. Specifically, the body undergoes multiple changes in response to frequent riding. With an increase in fitness comes toned muscles, a decrease in fat, and many other less sexy and boring attributes (heightened skills, new abilities, increased confidence, etc).

Being a cyclist during colder months is especially gratifying. There is the undeniable perk that your physique will remain relatively unchanged while everyone else is gnawing on holiday goodies, growing gleefully bloated and hence more grotesque and malformed. There is also a less conspicuous benefit to off-season cycling: that epidermal curiosities aggravated by continual exposure to dirty sweat tend to go dormant.

In winter perhaps the cyclist's body looks even better, as helmet-line acne recede, mid-thigh and mid-bicep tan lines fade, and rigorous full-body shaving schedules relax. Cyclists bodies also look better in winter because the scars and scabs collected after a summer of exceptionally fun yet accident-laden trail riding can heal. While fantastic visions of cycling as a tan and glistening thigh-throbbing heaven are mostly apt, an array of lesser-attractive bodily changes do exist. These include but aren't limited to ingrown-hairs, back-acne (bacne), and embrocation chemical burns.

I'm particularly fond of hiding one of my new-found body parts from the cruel gaze of the world, at least until I can sort out my feelings thereof. To adequately describe this novel anatomy, I perused the divine and all-knowing dyad of google/wikipedia for at least twelve to fourteen minutes, and could not find a proper name for this unique form. I find this odd indeed, as many athletes (as well as chubby grade-schoolers) tend to have them. It is a personal duty of mine to always describe and christen new findings, as I have a Bachelour's in Science degree which affords me the knowledge and societal significance to do so. From now on I will refer to this skin-flap as a greater geniculate groove. This is not to be confused with the lesser geniculate groove, which I believe to be a dance popularized in the 1920s. Being that this is a rare case in which the phenomenon I'm referring to is best depicted in image, rather than though excessive adjective-use coupled with oft-poignant narrative, I have googled a few photos to illustrate:

Figure 1. Old body part:
(Disclaimer: not my legs)

Note total separation of Knee/ Thigh area.

Figure 2. New body part:
(Also: not my legs)

*Note with tension of Vastus Medialis, greater geniculate groove is formed around the patella.

I understand that on me, this new body part is indicative of gaining muscle on my legs over the past few months. However it remains unsettling and reminiscent of my own chubby grade-school years. Fortunately it is winter, and my layers upon layers of clothing conceal all of my cycling-related (as well as multiple other) disfigurements. If I'm still wearing knee-warmers in June, you'll know why.