Friday, August 25, 2006

Performance enhancement

As part of my League of American Bicyclists membership, I received a subscription to Bicycling magazine. It's not something I would normally buy because it is geared more towards the harder-core riders. Some people would call me a hard core rider because I'll put 14 hours in the saddle to get from Pittsburgh to Cumberland in one day or ride the trail till three in the morning but I do that all at a very modest 10mph. I'm not a racer. I don't climb hills well. I'm just an Energizer Bunny that can keep going through force of will.

In any case, some of the things in the magazine are relevant (the article on breakfast nutrition before a big ride) or current (The Floyd Landis/Tour de France doping scandal) but much isn't ($3,000+ bicycle recommendations). Something I did notice was in the advertisements in the back. There are five pages with columns and blocks of ads; bike clothing, equipment, racks, panniers, tours, all the things you would expect in a bike magazine. But there were two that didn't fit the pattern. One was for Liberator.com. That grabbed my attention because I once had a Liberator bicycle seat from Terry. This ad was not for a bicycle seat but was for "Bedroom Adventure Gear." The other ad was much less subtle, advertising a "Swedish Sex Formula. Natures answer to more intense climax."

Surely, there's plenty of other advertising throughout the magazine, but even the car, camera and even the beer ads use cycling or the outdoors as a hook. These sex ads seem fully out of context. Are they aiming for the macho professional cyclist looking to prove his manliness in the saddle? Using performance enhancing drugs to boost testosterone and win races isn't enough, they have to enhance their sexual performance as well?

*click* *click*

Some of the furniture is intriguing to look at but not on my list of things to purchase. I'll enhance my performance the old fashioned way: with practice.

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