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You know what this blog has been missing lately? Tales of self-humiliation, that’s what!

So, I’m gonna tell you about the time I got “skid marks” on a pair of my cycling shorts.

And no, it’s not what you’re immediately thinking.

First, a little background:

Y’all know that Joel and I did a crazy little thing involving riding our bicycles across America, starting at the Pacific & winding up at the Atlantic, right? Well, if you didn’t now you do. Anyway, part of doing a big honkin’ tour like that is traveling really light. Inasmuch as I had two short sleeved tops, two long sleeved tops, a sweater, two pair of cycling shorts, one pair of tights, and a pair of actual pants. And about half a dozen pair of socks and a couple of pair of underpants for those days when we weren’t riding, ’cause I don’t like goin’ commando. Anyway, the point is that I didn’t have much clothing at my disposal. The other point is that cycling shorts are typically worn without underpants. They are your underpants, and if you wear more underpants under your underpants, you can get a chafèd butt, especially right under the cheeks. So, since I had all of two pair of cycling shorts, that meant that I was washing a pair of cycling shorts every day, and hanging them somewhere on my bicycle to dry them out so I could wear them the next day without experiencing a nasty dampness.

As we progressed across This Great Nation, I became more and more adept at hanging my laundry on my bike and bags for optimum drying effectiveness, but early on, I had a couple of spectacular failures, most spectacular of which netted the following effect:
The photo doesn’t do it justice, but there’s actually a pretty significant tire-track right up the middle of the “chamois” in my shorts. I’d washed the shorts and pinned them by the waist to the top strap on one of my panniers, but didn’t pin down the legs, so the legs flipped up in the wind, and the shorts found their way on to the top of my back tire. I don’t know how long I rode with my shorts rubbing on the tire, but I did notice a rubbing noise, stopped to investigate, and discovered that my freshly washed shorts were then befouled with rubber-rub-off and road grime.

It took daily washings for the whole rest of the trip (about a month and a half) and a couple of treatments with Shout! Spray-N-Wash to finally get the last of that “skidmark” out of my shorts.

Lesson learned – don’t allow your laundry to flap in the breeze lest it wind up wrapped around your back wheel.

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