A Vicious Cycle: When Buying a New Bike Seat Gets Real Awkward

A few summers ago, our daughter mastered the skill of riding her bike without training wheels. She was so proud that she begged to ride her Barbie bike around the neighborhood every evening. Since we all had bicycles, Husband suggested that cycling become our family’s “thang”

"Oh, bike riding!" I thought. "I will be taken back to the days of my childhood and those warm summer nights when I rode my pink Huffy for hours, only coming home to be fed and hide from the darkness and kidnappers in rusted conversion vans with mini-blinds who prey on chubby white girls after daylight. Good times!"

(When I was a child, my mother made up horrific stories about kidnappers and boogeymen to scare me into being safe. I'm still terrified of conversion vans with mini blinds. Thanks, Mom.)

Anyway, Hubs got one of those corny baby seats for his bicycle, we strapped the toddler boy on, and we all took off riding around the neighborhood, hearts full of love.

It was just like a medication commercial. You know those commercials that depict the happy family all participating in the same activity, smiling, lovingly glancing at one another, laughing, living the American dream, as an announcer runs through a list of side effects, including explosive diarrhea and tooth loss. Yeah, we were like that, except Daddy isn't on Lipitor for his A-Fib.

As my heart was bubbling with joy and my calves burning from steep inclines, my butt was suffering terribly.


I mean, how are you supposed to comfortably balance a hippopotamus on a brick? It ain't happening, folks.

So, I ventured down to the local Hell-Mart, and I searched for one of those big, comfortable, padded seats for my big, comfortable, padded derriere.

I found the perfect seat, and I took a picture with my cell phone and sent it to Hubs.

This is the actual seat. 

I decided to call him as I was standing in the bicycle aisle at Hell-Mart.

Side note: I was pimping a Blackberry back then, and the volume setting had malfunctioned. Every word that Husband spoke was incredibly loud, as if the phone had been set to speaker. I had to hold the phone away from my ear to talk as not to risk blood dripping from a busted drum.

Me: Did you get the picture of the bicycle seat?
Hubs: Yeah.
Me: Do you think it will help?
Hubs: Yeah.
Me: Okay, it is pretty padded. I think I will get it.
Hubs: What's that big hole in the middle?
Me: I don't know. The package says "ergonomic relief channel provides extra comfort while riding".
Hubs: It looks sexual.
Me: How can a bike seat look sexual, pervert?
Hubs: I don't know. That hole. Something about that hole.
Me: What is wrong with you? It is an ergonomic relief channel.
Hubs: It looks like a relief channel, alright.
Me: Do you realize how disgusting you are? Do you think this anytime you see a hole?
Hubs: Sometimes.
Me: Cheerios? How do you eat a bowl full of holes without thinking like a perv?
Hubs: Very carefully.
Me: I've got to go. I'm getting the seat.
Hubs: Cool.

As I hung up the phone, I noticed a precious little octogenarian standing beside me, browsing elbow pads for her some special kid in her life. She was sporting well-kept blue rinsed tight curls, wearing an airy cotton floral dress and a look of horror on her face. Not an "Oh, dear, I just burned my apple dumplings" kind of look, but an "OH DEAR! SOME YOUNG MAN WAS ON THE PHONE LOUDLY TALKING ABOUT SEX HOLES IN BICYCLE SEATS!" kind of look.

There is a difference, trust me.

My face a shade of crimson, I threw the seat in my cart, and I rushed away frantically.

I was reminded of that Christmas when “Toy Story 3” was all the rage and my daughter was obsessed with the characters. She'd acquired every toy from the movie, but she was on the hunt for the larger versions of the toys.

As we squeezed our way down the crowded aisle at Satan's Workshop (Hell-Mart), she shouted, "Look, Mama! A big Woody!"

Two ladies blushed and a large hairy guy in a "NAUGHTY LIST" t-shirt laughed out loud.

Anyway, I got my padded bicycle seat, and it is all good in the cycling hood. I don't know how exactly an ergonomic relief channel provides support, but I'm not complaining.