30 November 2006

That's not Chamois Butt'r!!!

In Kathryn Bertine's e(sp)ndless quest to make an Olympic team for '08, she's now tried out track cycling. I neglected to post a link to her attempt to catch on with USA Handball (also a great read) so here it is.

I've never ridden in a velodrome, though I wanted to try it out when I was young. I used to have the ridiculous quads you need for it; unfortunately, I had those quads from keeping my bulk upright and moving (as) fast (as I could). Track cyclists are generally beefity folk, but in the muscular, not "husky fellow" way. If you've never seen a velodrome, or the insane lunatics who ride brakeless bikes around their steep walls at 30mph, think downhill skiing (10 at a time) confined to a ski jump. Not a perfect analogy, but it should convey the speed, proximity, and sheer terror.

As before, Bertine's self-deprecatory humor is the real draw for the piece. If Page 2 hadn't lost their braintrust to AOL Sports, they'd offer her a gig as the anti-Simmons. From the web scuttlebutt, they're paying an awful lot of money to Jemele Hill for her (so far, decent) pieces; if they can pay even half that to her, I'd think the WWL could find a few shekels in the breakroom couches to toss Bertine's way on a regular basis.*

Here's a sample from Bertine's rough go at it:

Although many bike companies make saddles specifically designed to accommodate the female anatomy, they are not on our loaner track bikes. There is a product called Chamois Butt'r that one puts "down below" before cycling workouts to ease the pain of the saddle. Today, bleary-eyed and tired at 7 a.m., I've accidentally put Bengay in my bike shorts instead of the intended cream. I don't remember the morning workout.

* I in no way mean to compare Hill and Bertine because they are both women. I bring up Hill because she's the latest, very high-profile, addition to Page 2 and her salary has been subject to much speculation. Frankly, I don't care if a writer goes by George or Mary Anne, or if s/he has Tab-A or Slot-B parts. I just care if s/he is good. Bertine is good. Hill is also good (which is a bit of a shock, as she took a job at a sinking ship.)