Loretta Bar-hops with her Girlfriends as the Designated ‘Cyclist’

Forget condoms. Throw away birth control. I discovered the ultimate family planning protection—the bicycle,and its 1970s mood ring equivalent, the bicycle seat. Color me black and blue, please. And sore. After 10 miles on my bike, “no” means “hell, no.” Padded or not, the modern bicycle seat is simply not conducive to a healthy sex life.

My family planning discovery started innocently enough. Now that I am single again, my girlfriends are determined to end my post-divorce life of self-imposed chastity. I don’t know why. I don’t need their help. With a squirt or two of WD-40, the mental keys to my marital chastity belt will work just fine. Besides, they can’t walk the walk in their own relationships. Apparently, “relationship climate change” is real, and to hear them complain, man-made. Only instead of getting hotter, the temperature ranges from “Better luck next month” to “Let’s wait until your birthday; it’ll be here before you know it.” But I must be a challenge nonetheless because they recently organized a Friday night pub crawl, or as they teased, a “fly-fishing” event, starting in Bellingham and then theoretically ending in pick-up paradise, my hometown of Lynden. WTF, right? I wasn’t amused. I can bait my own hook, thank you very much.

Sadly, I eventually relented to their peer pressure, in part because I know that the can of WD-40 in my purse is not infallible. Few things are worse than a broken-off key when you are in a hurry. And as my mother used to say: “Just because something fits, doesn’t mean that it should.” I have no clue to this day what she meant, but I finally took her advice to heart by implementing a back-up plan in case the WD-40 worked.

My answer to the unwanted compulsory ladies’ night out was to show up on my bicycle as the designated “cyclist.” I mean, even if I should have a moment of weakness, I was fully protected in the Hobby Lobby sense. What guy is going to say “yes” to the litmus test question: “Is there any room in the back of your car for my bike?” Instantly, any male, drunk or not, will know that he’d better be in the big chain ring or there’s no chance that he can catch me. Only disc brakes can stop a male on the prowl faster than the “bike in the back” conundrum. The confusion on their face is priceless. Plus, my privates were already killing me from the Mother of All Butt Wedges. They made me sign a limited power of attorney before entering the pub, giving them unconditional veto power over all below the waist discretionary physical activities.

So, there I stood in pain at our first pub stop, watching the alcohol-induced dating ritual while sober, and looking stunningly sexy in my padded “fly swatter” bike shorts. Men, here’s some unsolicited advice: When a woman has to stand in a bar for over 30 minutes, offer her your bar stool as a courtesy. The best pick-up line may just be kindness. And bar owners, I have a suggestion. If you want to increase profitability, replace your bar stools with bike seats. Your turnover rate will quadruple. But I digress.

Within an hour, the guys’ shirt sleeves were rolled up, and shirt buttons went on strike. Testosterone was everywhere. About every half hour, small packs of women would go, en masse, to the restroom to reapply lipstick and perfume to all body parts, including their cleavage. I’m sorry. My boobs don’t smell bad, and I don’t need perfume to enhance their attractiveness. They may sag a bit after two kids and forty years of gravity, but they are just curious. They want to see where they are going. Here’s a rhetorical question: What guy has ever complained about smelly boobs? I can count them on one middle finger.

As I watched with amusement, three younger men sit-ting at the bar started a conversation with my group of mostly moms. One of the three saved what he thought was his absolute best pick-up line just for me: “What’s a MILF like you doing here?” Huh? After a quick Google search, I deflected the youthful, but misplaced attempt at flattery and shut him down quickly: “Looking for a baby-sitter for my two preschool kids. You don’t babysit, do you?” At this point, the conversation turned to awkward silence, his big chain ring went to a little chain ring, and his derailleur completely stopped working. He was badly in need of a mechanic. Sometimes the opposite sex simply needs to recognize when there’s a 12 percent uphill grade ahead with more switch-backs than Galbraith Mountain or L’Alpe d’Huez.

Really, guys? Who needs bicycle seats with pickup lines like that?

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"Padded or not, the modern bicycle seat is simply not conducive to a healthy sex life."