Swollen Ranks: Who's #1?

Are you am amateur bicycle racer?  Do you sheathe yourself in Lycra and straddle the crabon pony?  Do you refrain from desserts and alcohol so as not to compromise you mid-pack finishes in local training races?  If so, you should know that "serious leisure male cyclists may experience hormonal imbalances that could affect their reproductive health:"

I learned of this from a fellow Tweeterer, and my first reaction was disbelief, since I don't see how there could possibly be such a thing as a "serious leisure male cyclist."  Aren't "serious" and "leisure" mutually exclusive?  Then again, I suppose it's a perfect clinical term for "Fred," since "serious leisure male cyclist" does evoke the sort of person who considers himself an elite athlete because he holds a Cat 4 racing license and who has to pay a coach to force him to ride his crabon bicycle.

In any case, here's what the researchers have discovered:

"Plasma estradiol and testosterone levels were significantly elevated in serious leisure male cyclists, a finding not previously reported in any type of male athlete," notes Leah Fitzgerald, Ph.D., FNP-BC, assistant professor at the School of Nursing and principal investigator and senior author of the study.

In other words, "training" makes Freds grow boobies:

Estradiol is a form of estrogen and, in males, is produced as an active metabolic product of testosterone. Possible conditions associated with elevated estrogen in males include gynecomastia, a condition that may result in the loss of male pubic hair and enlarged breast tissue.

As does chamois cream:

The study found an association between an increase in estrogen levels and increasing years of chamois cream use, particularly for male cyclists using the cream for more than four years.

Researchers also released this photo of a man in the advanced stages of Freditosis:

Sadly, it's unlikely that "serious leisure male cyclists" will be dissuaded by this research, for to find a more delusional group of people than amateur male bike racers you have to look to the more esoteric religious sects or the leadership of North Korea.  No, the fact is that it's only a matter of time before elevated estrogen becomes a point of pride for Freds, and they begin bragging about their balding mons pubises and robust man-breasts the same way they already like to show off their tan lines and share leg-shaving tips.  "Man-maries are so PRO!," the Tweets will read, and they'll be accompanied by Instagram photos of preternatural he-bosoms barely contained by $250 Rapha Alpe d'Huez Merino Climbing Manzierres.

Speaking of Rapha, they certainly stand the most to gain from this, because not only can they start selling bras to Freds, but hey can also tap the burgeoning transsexual market with their bosom-swelling, pee-pee shrinking, estrogen-elevating chamois cream:

(Chamois Cream: Turns Freds into Wilmas.)

Meanwhile, in other Fred news, Fred-dom's periodical of record has officially deemed Portland, Oregon the #1 bikey city in the United States, and her rain-soaked residents are positively brimming with pride and smugness:

I'm not sure it's fair to call Portland a "city."  New York is a city.  Chicago is a city.  Portland's mostly just a handful of trendy businesses that have sprung up around a sawmill.  I'm also not sure being #1 anything according to "Bicycling" is something to brag about, since it's sort of like getting a card from grandma informing you that you're the "#1 Grandchild."  Plus, as much as I love the good people at "Bicycling," they're not exactly the most cosmopolitan bunch, and while nobody's better at ranking identical Taiwanese crabon bicycles I'm not sure they're qualified to be ranking cities.  Having a bunch of people in Emmaus, PA judge cities is like having a bunch of Orthodox Jews judge a pork rib competition.  Still, I guess we should leave the people of Portland to their celebrations since it's really all they have.  I mean, take away the bike stuff and Portland's just a suburb of Beaverton with a few coffee houses and quirky donut shop.

By the way, if you want to find out how the rest of America's cities ranked, you'll have to click through the world's largest slideshow:

Sadly, "Bicycling" have to resort to these sorts of ploys since people who accidentally click on the pop-ups account for 78% of their print subscribers.

As for me, I don't have time to click through a bunch of slides, since I have a blog to run.  (I don't mean this blog, which takes almost no time to run.  I'm referring to my other blog, "Wet Hot Fred Boobs," which is extremely time-consuming, surprisingly lucrative, and tremendously popular in Japan.)  Still, I wanted to find out how my hometown finished.  So I picked a number and clicked on it, and amazingly I guessed exactly right:

I know I'm biased, but I think New York City should have placed a bit higher.  After all, we're world leaders in so many areas of cycling:

--World's most Fredly bicycle racing club (CRCA);
--World's most self-important retired professional bike racer (John Eustice);
--World's most heavily-trafficked Fred corridor (Route 9W);
--World's most nonexistent car (David Byrne's);
--World's largest bicycle clustercoitus (Five Boro Bike Tour).

I could go on, but the longer this list gets the more I want to move to Portland.

Of course, there's one area in which New York is untouchable, and that's the potential for interactions among different cultures.  Consider this for example:

Hasidic Dude For Shikseh Bike Riding Partner - m4w - 28 (North Brooklyn)
Date: 2012-05-21, 9:34AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

Ok, this is not exactly a missed connection to a particular person, but I am a real hasidic dude who is looking for a multi cultural bike riding partner/expiriance. I do like to ride down to Coney Island and fort Tilden and Im sure there's a non religious girl who is wants to have a conversation wih someone totally different and learn a thing or two about he culture. I am down for drinks too, but really the weather is so beautiful and this is te time of year. 

Alas, it was only a matter of time before the constant parade of "muffin tops" caused a member of the Hasidic community to stray.  I'm sure he's eager to teach a willing shikseh "a thing or two about the culture" as well.  He's going to singlehandedly dispel that sheet myth once and for all.
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