Today I’m pleased to announce a new feature, running on Fridays at FatCyclist.com, which I call “X of the Weekend.” Actually, the X is just a placeholder. It’s not really called “X of the Weekend,” it’s called “(Something) of the Weekend,” where the “X” or “Something” is replaced with something else. And whatever it is, it’s of the Weekend.
For example, the “something” (or X) for this weekend is a question. And the question is as follows:
“How much snot have you wiped on your gloves, expelled out your nose, or otherwise dispensed of during the course of your cycling career to date?”
It’s an intriguing question, and not at all disgusting. (It can’t be disgusting, because this is a family-friendly blog, and family-friendly blogs don’t have disgusting things on them. QED.) I found myself considering this question this morning as I rode with Mark up American Fork Canyon (see Mark’s delightful account of the ride here). It was a cold morning, which meant my nose was running extra-efficiently. And since I am unable to do the “Snot Rocket” (I have small nostrils, so any time I try the Snot Rocket blowout, my eyes pop out of my skull), I wipe the snot on my glove, then wipe my glove on the side of my shorts.
So. Over the course of this fifteen years of riding, about how much snot have I wiped on my shorts?
Let’s look at the data.
- Let’s suppose my threshold for wiping my nose on my glove is constant.
- Let’s further suppose the threshold for that volume is 1/8 teaspoon.
- Let’s additionally suppose that I wipe my nose an average of twelve times per ride (I wiped my nose a counted 22 times today, but today was cold. Twelve seems like a responsibly realistic number).
- Let’s posit — because I’m tired of supposing — that I ride my bike four times per week throughout the year. This is a good conservative average, since I generally ride my bike six times per week during the good weather, and much less often when I have to use the rollers.
- Let’s assert that there are 52 weeks per year. Let’s also assert that the extra day or two ignored by this 52-weeks-per-year assertion have been very naughty and deserve to be punished.
- Let’s assert that I have been riding for fifteen years. Exactly.
Now let’s do the math:
(12 snots x 4 weekly rides x 52 weeks x 15 years) = 37,440 snots
This total, naturally, needs to be divided by 8, since there are 8 snots per teaspoon. Based on this, I am pleased to report that in my cycling lifetime, I have wiped 4,680 teaspoons’ worth of snot on my cycling shorts.
Admit it: you’re impressed.
Now all we need to know is how many teaspoons are in a gallon (which I’ll convert to liters because I know some of you haven’t yet converted over to the non-metric system), because nobody — certainly not me — can wrap their heads around the idea of 4,680 teaspoons.
I will be back shortly. I am going to fill a gallon jug with water, using a teaspoon.
OK, I’m back. Using the empirical method — and not by just doing a search — I have found there are 768 teaspoons in a gallon.
Hence, in my fifteen years of cycling, I have wiped 6.09 gallons (23.03 liters) of snot onto my gloves, and then transferred said snot onto the side of my shorts.
This is absolutely my most impressive cycling accomplishment of all time.
Assignment: Taking into account the length of your cycling career, individual snot-wipe/blow volume, frequency of snot-wipe/blows, and ride frequency, please report how much snot have you produced and either applied to your shorts, gloves, jerseys, or distributed onto the road (or in Dug’s case, blown into a fine mist that hits everyone in a twenty-yard radius).