Sailing you have got to love it

Just went out sailing with my brother on his multi 23 – a performance trimaran that he sails on the Vaal Dam – an inland body of water quite near to JHB in South Africa. This is where my formative years were spent combining a combination of windsurfing, dinghy sailing and chasing girls …..

The multi is a great sportsboat and one that i would enjoy to race on. We popped up the A3 on one reach and even with those hulls buried there is no feeling that it is going to pitch pole ….. would be even more interesting on saltwater with extra bouyancy.

Here is a video of them sailing from last year ..

i have to confess that this is out of my price league although would be good to have a WETA trimaran – which is closer to my disposable budget ……


Expensive bikes: buying the best – or do you have $10000 you could spare

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

We’ve all seen or read about them at this point, and some have even been lucky enough to ride (or better yet, own) one: those ultra-premium ‘halo’ bikes that are cycling’s equivalent of that old Lamborghini Countach poster on your childhood wall. These days, nearly every company has at one ultra-premium bike in the range – but if only a handful of people can afford them, what’s the point?

Consider the following examples:

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultimate: US$12,100
Felt DA1 Di2: US$12,999
Giant TCR Advanced SL: US$10,300
Trek Madone 6.9 SSL Leopard/Schleck Edition: US$11,623.47
Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 Di2: US$11,000
Cervélo R5ca: US$9,800 (frameset only)

Fantasy for some; reality for others

Halo bikes cost roughly one-fifth of the average US household income – meaning they’re only the stuff of dreams for most. But as unattainable as those bikes seem, there are people that can and do buy them. BikeRadar spoke with several of the top companies in the industry and all of them reported that flagship bike sales – while low in total number – are still ticking along, global economic issues be damned.

“We find it’s more of the affluent (doctor, investor, lawyer), performance-minded customer that purchases a bike at this price range,” said Andrew Juskaitis, global product marketing manager for Giant. “Because of their price, the number of halo bikes produced is dwarfed to that of their more-affordable counterparts – figure the ratio is about 40-to-1.”

“I won’t disclose how many total we make,” said Scott PR and marketing director Adrian Montgomery, “but for the US market it’s a 1:10 ratio of sales of halo bikes vs. our value bikes, like Ultegra CR1s. We entered the market at the high end and there is still considerable demand for our premium bikes even after we’ve focused on value for the US market.”

Even industry powerhouse Specialized – no stranger at all to mass production and huge volume – says sales of its impressively broad range of halo bikes are better than expected. The company’s top-end road bike, the S-Works + McLaren Venge, is a joint collaboration with the heralded automaker of the same name and costs US$18,000. Its most expensive mountain, the S-Works Epic Carbon 29, isn’t quite as outrageous but still commands a whopping US$10,500 – and the company can’t keep either one in stock.

Scott offer a full range of their impressive Foil aero carbon road bikes. Top-end ones get premium kit and the highest grade carbon fibers while midrange ones use a more economical spec and a slightly heavier fiber blend that doesn't detract too much from performance but saves an enormous amount of cash

Scott offer a full range of their impressive Foil aero carbon road bikes. Top-end ones get premium kit and the highest grade carbon fibers while midrange ones use a more economical spec and a slightly heavier fiber blend that doesn’t detract too much from performance but saves an enormous amount of cash

It’s not always about volume

Halo bikes don’t always make economic sense but manufacturers still feel they hold a valuable spot in the marketplace. Their lofty prices (and presumably, the associated impressive performance) can raise the perceived status of the brand, bikes developed for sponsored teams can earn prized competition credibility, and developers learn valuable lessons while pushing the envelope of technology.

“We build halo bikes to see how far we can push our product line – literally building what we feel are the best bikes in the world for that 1-2 percent of riders who desire the very best, to see exactly how light, how stiff and how aerodynamic we can push our overall bike designs,” said Juskaitis. “Every time we produce one of these bikes we learn something new. Sure, the great majority of us can’t afford them, but these are the products we aspire to.”

Flagship bikes are also developed to cater to sponsored world-class riders and teams. Their physical demands far exceed the daily rigors of most everyday riders and as is always the case in sport, every team is looking for every possible advantage over its rivals. That unique microcosm provides an ideal testing environment and continually forces everyone involved to push the envelope instead of contently settling for the status quo.

“Working with our teams and athletes is how we build better products,” said Sims. “The average person on the street will not have the power of a Mark Cavendish so we need their numbers and feedback. As a company, I think we have built a great reputation for being able to interpret that feedback and put it to good use to build the next great bike.”

“There absolutely needs to be halo bikes in order to push the limits of what’s possible,” insisted Cervélo media liaison Mark Riedy. “It’s not realistic for a manufacturer to be able to come out with a frame that weighs 25% less and is stiffer than the current base production models without rolling it out as a super limited production model. We just can’t jump into massive production right away with cutting-edge technology.

“One thing that might be getting lost these days is the sense of how special a carbon frame is,” Riedy added. “We make very few R5ca frames and they’re all just as fussed over as an artisan made steel frame. They’re handmade and are as cutting edge as anything you’d see in F1 or Moto GP racing.”

Cervélo's ultra-exclusive R5ca is one of the lightest road frames currently available and is built in the US by company engineers – not factory workers. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most expensive at $9,800 for just the frameset

Cervélo’s ultra-exclusive R5ca is one of the lightest road frames currently available and is built in the US by company engineers – not factory workers. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive at $9,800 for just the frameset

Why halo bikes help all of us

There are probably regular consumers out there who can churn out as many watts as a Tour de France pro but odds are the average rider’s power output wouldn’t even run your washing machine. That person may not be able to necessarily extract all the performance potential of a halo bike but that doesn’t mean we don’t all still stand to benefit from their existence anyway.

Invariably, those new technologies trickle down to more attainable price points as manufacturers figure out ways to reproduce those features at lower costs and amortize development expenses over a wider volume of product.

“Halo bikes are where the latest technology comes from and these are the product used by our athletes and teams,” Sims told us. “Ultimately, what gets developed on the halo bikes will trickle down to the more affordable models. If you take for example our Allez bikes, they are very entry level but these frames are stiffer than the frame that Levi Leipheimer used to win the Tour of Germany a few years ago. What is the S-Works bike today becomes the Pro bike tomorrow.”

“Many of the technological benefits that our engineers develop can be carried down to non-halo bikes,” said Felt communications manager Bill Childers. “The more that we can pull down to the rest of the line, the better the bikes are for our customers. We developed the InsideOut process [for the F1] and reverted to a more efficient round tube design but we were also able to utilize the same process and round tube design for the F2-F5. So, as a result of seeking to produce the fastest bike possible, we are also able to raise the performance of all the bikes in our line.”

“The dream bike we offered five years ago is now a value bike – without carbon tubulars,” added Montgomery. “[Customers] find they can own the Addict with Ultegra and it rides so close to the Di2 bike that it’s a great value and half the money.”

You can buy a car for that money! I can go faster on my old Huffy!

Any discussion of such high-end exotica invariably elicits the usual laundry list of comments from the peanut gallery:

• “That US$10,000 bike isn’t twice as good as a US$5,000 one”
• “I can go just as fast on my 1980 Peugeot – only the legs matter”
• “The average rider has way more weight to lose on their body”
• “That bike isn’t UCI-legal anyway”
• “You could buy a motorcycle for that money”

A team replica Trek Madone 6.9 SSL Leopard/Schleck Edition similar to this one will cost you $11,623.47 at full retail

A team replica Trek Madone 6.9 SSL Leopard/Schleck Edition similar to this one will cost you $11,623.47 at full retail

Guess what – it’s all true. And you know what else? So what.

This end of the price spectrum definitely brings sharply diminishing returns, no bike is a substitute for true fitness, few of us are as fit as we could be, most of these ‘superbikes’ (on the road, at least) fall well south of the UCI weight limit, and yes, the same amount of money really will buy either a top-end Cannondale or a Ducati 848 Evo.

As with any gear-oriented sport, people just like to have the best – if only for the illusion of competitive advantage – and some of those people have the money to spend. Moreover, many buyers don’t make their bicycle purchases based on how well it suits their abilities. Truth be told, we often buy based on what we want to be and the image we want to project and just like so many people own cars that can go 240km/h in a world that rarely lets them go half that, it’s the idea that it’s capable of such a feat that we find so compelling.

Top-end bikes are also cheap in the grand scheme of expensive playthings. Consider that one typically needs less than US$10,000 to buy the exact same machine as what top pros are using and then compare that to motorsports, where that same amount of money gets you a used Honda Civic. Sure, that Ducati nets a heck of a lot more speed per dollar than any bicycle but it’s not the best. If you’re truly after the exact same equipment as the pros, we dare say that Valentino Rossi’s machine might cost just a little extra.

Where we go from here

There’s some indication that we’re approaching the glass ceiling – but limits are meant to be broken.

“At about US$12,000, the bikes don’t lose much weight and just look more exotic,” Montgomery admitted. “I remember someone asking why our RED Equipped LTD a few years ago didn’t include ceramic bearings. Well, we drew the line – US$13,000 was too much and a ceramic bearing is invisible.”

“In 2010, the US$14,000 TCR Advanced SL Limited was the most expensive bike we had ever produced,” said Juskaitis. “We sold out of these bikes in less than a month [but] for the foreseeable future, this is as high as we will venture.”

Specialized, on the other hand, won’t artificially limit itself but any price increase will also have to come with a real gain.

“We will always look to the next great piece of technology and that generally comes at a premium, so as long as we keep riding and pushing ourselves to develop better bikes we will keep going,” said Sims. “Obviously frames are just one part of the equation so if parts prices go up then bike prices go up, too.”

As with anything that lies out of our financial reach, halo bikes aren’t there to taunt us, mock us, or to remind us of what we want but can’t have – they exist simply because they can. Moreover, no one’s forcing anyone to buy anything and whether directly or indirectly, we all benefit.

So go ahead and rightfully take pride in your current machine, knowing full well that you’ll eek out its full potential. When it’s time, though, rest assured that there’ll be always something better waiting for you when you’re ready.

Giant Bicycles once built their business model on offering primarily mainstream bikes with exceptionally high value. Now the company also offer top-end race bikes costing upwards of $10,000 like this Rabobank team-issued machine

Giant Bicycles once built their business model on offering primarily mainstream bikes with exceptionally high value. Now the company also offer top-end race bikes costing upwards of $10,000 like this Rabobank team


Vasectomy and exercise: or how the chop can affect your choices

Resumed exercise last night with a great game of 5-a-side footie. Was a bit hesitant at first but once the game started I felt great. Was previously looking into the effects of exercise post chop as I had heard it was a 2 week delay before even the lightest work out (let alone one where the ball in the balls could happen).
Came across these letters on the cycling plus website (so obviously more cycling orientated) but basically says get on with it and you will know yourself. I think the bottom line is if you are fit then recovery is generally quick.

From cyclingplus

Letters to Cyclingnews – Vasectomy and cycling

An innocent (and we think, very brave) query from USA reader Duncan Granger in our Letters page of January 31, 2002, about the effects of vasectomy on cycling – and vice versa – has generated an explosion of replies from around the world. staff have marveled, during the past week, at the sheer number and quality of Letters that have flowed in, offering advice, tips and personal experiences.

Vasectomy has been, without a doubt, one of our most popular Letters subjects, ever.

So, to give this somewhat sticky subject its due credit – and offer some answers to Duncan’s original questions – we have decided to offer a special Letters page, dedicated to the sport of cycling.

Oooh that saddle!

My experience was that physical activity within a couple weeks was no sweat, but ooooh that saddle! It was a month before I could handle riding without feeling like every bump in the road was directly kicking me right in the ‘nads.

Long term effects? None for me after that first month, other than some spontaneous bliss in the sack.

Enjoyin’ wedded life
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Friday, February 1, 2002

Take two weeks

I remember about one day of discomfort and about two days of easy living. I was back on the bike (not racing) on the fourth day. Sex waited about 10 days, if I remember correctly.

I am not a doctor, so take that into account. I didn’t rush my body, but then again I was not timid. I would not suggest racing for the first week after, since the stress of racing will only impede the healing process.

Don’t ride with your racing buddies, or start intervals, or time trailing right after. The few days away from the bike, as miserable as it will be, will not undo your form. Heck, take the two weeks and come back hungry for a ride.

Rudy Nadler
Friday, February 1, 2002

It’s a lottery

It’s really a bit of a lottery between the skill of the surgeon, the recovery and stoicism of the patient and luck with wound infections, bruising and the like.

In my case, I did a hard 80km ride on the Thursday morning, had a scalpel-less procedure (a misnomer, really. It was the size of the needle for the local that caused the most discomfort both during and after the operation), had one day off the bike before a group ride with sprints on the Saturday, and a 60k (40 mile) road race on the Sunday in which I placed. Thereafter I kept riding as usual. I think my surgeon suggested three to five days’ rest.

I had hardly used any anti-inflammatories until the Sunday night, after which I used 46 of the supply of 50 over the next five days. Cycling wasn’t a concern, as the knicks supported the scrotum and kept the sore areas out of the way.

Walking after sitting was agony, as the warmed, bruised and inflamed scrotum hung lower to be banged by the inside of my thighs with every stride. And the codeine in the mixture messed up my night driving.

I had pretty severe bruising on one side, which stayed enlarged and sore on and off over the next two to three months, but rarely caused even the slightest discomfort whilst supported by knicks on the bike.

Maybe I was lucky. Perhaps don’t contemplate it the week before the National titles! Avoid a general anaesthetic if you are brave enough – besides withholding food for 12 hours (and what cyclist can do that), the effects of the anaesthetic agents can persist in subtle ways for up to 6 months, hindering your performance.

Good luck to you.

Dr. Robert Suter
B.Sc., B.V.M.S., M.A.C.V.Sc. (Sheep) Registrar Division of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Murdoch University
Perth, Australia
Friday, February 1, 2002

No problems

Had mine done two years ago after our second child. I was off the bike for about 10 days. The pain issue only lasted about four days but worrying about tearing the stitches kept me off the bike a while longer.

After 10 days I started back slow and if I remember right, after about a week of riding it was pretty much a non-issue. I still didn’t really go hard until I was sure I wasn’t going to tear the stitches.

I have had no problems since and ride with no discomfort at all.

Walnut Creek, Ca(USA)
February 1, 2002

Wait three days

Here is the scoop from my viewpoint. Whenever you get it done, wait three solid days without doing anything. You will feel okay, but if you try to do anything you will pay for it! Just sit on the couch, drink some brews and ICE,ICE,ICE. Get two packs of frozen peas and just keep rotating them. One on your stuff, one in the freezer.

You can ride the trainer in about five or six days, but be wary of the road for a couple of weeks. It is the pavement cracks or unseen bumps that will cause you pain. Never had a case of epididymitis, before or after. GO FOR IT!

Friday, February 1, 2002

Smooth recovery

Hope my “vaz” experience can be of guidance.

I had a vaz at about 40 years of age after three children. I have always been an avid “hard recreational” cyclist and can compete at local Cat three races in the Toronto, Canada area when a local race is convenient. I typically work out six days a week, with mostly cycling, some indoor rowing for variety (currently at 6:54.8 for 2,000 m), and now run infrequently, even though I have completed three marathons in past years, with a 3:05 being the best.

My body seems fairly durable as I rarely get hurt and recover fairly quickly. My body seems to be able to take a reasonable amount of abuse but I was not very lean at 5′-11″ and 183 lbs (at vaz time). I don’t like to take too much time off from working out, so I tried to get on the bike as soon as I could after the vaz.

First of all, I had a great doctor and no complications from the operation whatsoever. The whole procedure took less than half an hour. After I got home, I applied a bag of frozen peas off and on for three or four hours and then sporadically through the rest of the evening and the next few days.

I attempted my first bike ride either the next day or the day after. I felt very little discomfort walking at this point but did not attempt to run. After hitting the first few patches of bumpy road on the ride, I headed home knowing that I shouldn’t be out there on the bike. The second or third day after the operation, I rode at about 50% effort and accomplished a 10 mile ride with very little discomfort. I increased my efforts daily, but felt out each ride until I no longer thought about it. As I recall, it was less than a month before I was “normal” and I have had no discomfort since. I believe the key is to stay away from “jarring” movements like running, and you can exercise soon after the operation, depending on a number of factors.

I have also heard some horror stories about vaz’s so don’t assume all recoveries are as smooth as mine. I’m sure every situation is unique and I was probably lucky to have been able to get back on the bike so quickly. The key is not to plan anything after the operation and pace your recovery gradually.

Alex Pond
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Friday, February 1, 2002

Seven days later . . .

Ah – the unkindest cut of all!

It depends how “gentle” the surgeon is and consequently how much discomfort you are in. I was cycling again after seven days, but my op was carried out in a private hospital (rather than our NHS), so probably got a better standard of service!

Good luck,

Mark Hammond
United Kingdom
Friday, February 1, 2002

Benefits outweigh negatives

I had a vasectomy just after my third child was born. He is now a Museeuw lookalike (legs) and has just turned 22 years old.

Do it and stay off the bike and weights and running for as long as your doctor orders you to do.

The benefit of having a wife who does not worry about becoming pregnant far outweighs the two or three weeks off the bike.

You need the rest anyway. This advice from an older(53 years) and still very active cyclist.

Arno Botha
Pretoria South Africa.
Friday, February 2, 2002

How about 20 kids instead?


I had a vasectomy over a year ago and since then I have had three periods of forced rest as cycling seems to cause my tubes (thingygingystingyogus) to become inflamed. Before I had the snip, I had no problems. I am now waiting to have the problem resolved, which will mean further surgery and discomfort.

With hindsight, I would consider the following options: a. 20+ children b. The life of a single man c. The life of a gay man

Does this help with your question, please let me know how it goes.

Dean Tranter
Friday, February 1, 2002

You will know

Like you, I had the chop after two children, while still cycling 10 miles each way to work daily. I guess I took a few days out of the saddle, but you will know when you are ready to roll again, rather than the experts. Just don’t commit to a big one until you are sure you feel normal again after some local rides. Long term, I went on to successfully ride Paris-Brest-Paris with no concerns in that region.

Peter Witting
Leicestershire, UK
Friday, February 1, 2002

Here goes . . .

Congratulations on your child! We had our third in November, and my wife and I have made the same decision.

I am going to be going under the knife next week, Feb 6 to be exact. As for the scalpel-less procedure you mentioned, they still have to cut you. I was told that it entails inserting a scissor type instrument and cutting from a small point outwards. So, yes, there is no scalpel, but you still get cut. The doctor I am using recommended the scalpel as he feels the cut is cleaner and more easily controlled. I voted on the side of more control.

As for the strenuous exercise, he says that 10-14 days, I should be pretty good to go. I would be very cautious about doing anything before that. I will let you know how the recovery goes, if you like.

Say a prayer.

Friday, February 1, 2002

Don’t ride – it’s too risky

Absolutely stay off the bike.

Due to the location, not just groin, but with regard to internal parts and how things move around, pressure, contraction etc, you risk far too much by messing around at all on the bike. Plain and simple, don’t do it. If anyone has success in getting right back on, they were very lucky.

If you can time it, doing it in the off season and then working through a cross training phase, then base and the up into LT work gives you not only the right race foundation, but is a great way to have the rest followed by the build up you need to get back going. Tremendous core stress is involved in cycling and core in this case involves movement and strength in the muscles involved in much more than just cycling.

Do it right.

Charles Monahan
Friday, February 2, 2002

Brief convalescence

About four years ago I had a vasectomy (incision) during the springtime (I forget exactly when) and was also in the midst of my first racing season.

Although I was a little concerned about the recovery period and time off the bike, my convalescence was remarkably brief. In short, I recall being able to jog lightly within seven to 10 days of the operation and was back on my bike within three weeks.

My advice: remain inactive for two to three days and continue icing until the swelling has completely subsided before attempting any moderately strenuous activity (eg hiking, long walks). Afterwards, use your best judgment on what feels right (down there) and you’ll be back on your feet in no time. But, don’t sweat the vasectomy – it’s a truly simple procedure.

Good luck!

Carlos Wilson
Bainbridge, Georgia,
Friday, February 1, 2002

Remember, it’s permanent

I also decided to go the way of the knife after my second child. One boy, one girl, they don’t make any other kind. Why not stop here?

I was not a cyclist at the time. However I was a competitive runner and did my first run one week after my surgery, with just minor discomfort. I have since become a competitive cyclist and have never had any problems with that area.

Just remember once this surgery is done it is considered permanent, the reversal surgery has a much lower success rate and from what I hear is much more painful.

Tim Sherrill
Seattle WA (USA)
Friday February 1, 2002

Waiting just good sense

I have a friend who felt so good after the procedure that he over-did it, just general physical activity and paid for it big-time in pain and suffering.

Waiting three to four weeks is just good sense. Not waiting can only lead to complications like swelling.

Jeff Lefevre
Friday, February 2, 2002

Painless and only four days off

I believe we are part of a small group – those who go under the knife in order to shoot blanks! I had a vasectomy at the end of 2000 about three weeks before the time changed – which is about when the season ends here in North Carolina. Aside from the doctor talking to me the whole time I was in stirrups, having to shave my scrotum (which is a bit higher than I normally go) and the smell of the soldering iron cauterizing various areas of my privates, it was quite painless. I was out in 20 minutes and went to work the next day. The discomfort that I had for a couple days after felt much like blue balls.

Now to the important stuff. I ride Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Except for Sunday and races all are competitive group rides. I had the procedure done on a Thursday and missed that ride. I did not feel that I could ride on that Saturday or Sunday. I did ride the trainer with slight discomfort on Tuesday and did the normal Thursday ride a week later. The doctor told me that I could ride on Tuesday, four days after the procedure and he was about right.

I hope that helps,

Scott Nelson
Friday, February 1, 2002

Don’t worry

Not to worry! I had a vasectomy three years ago, and the recovery period is quite quick. You’ll probably spend two days laying about on the couch (time for those TdF videos), then be up and around for normal activities (most people do the procedure Friday evening and can return to work Monday morning.

In my case, I was off the bike for about 10 days and resumed riding at that point with no problems.

You would probably have to wait longer to run (bouncing is bad). I experienced some residual, minor soreness when putting the equipment to use for a few months afterward (not enough to stop me, though :-}), but it was no big deal.

Good Luck!

Alex Parker
Friday, February 1, 2002

Biopsy experience

I cant respond to a vasectomy per say, but less than a month ago I had a testicular biopsy which involves some of the same incisions as a vasectomy.

My doctor said I could be back on the bike by the end of the week (ie surgery on Tuesday, bike on Saturday). I do have to admit that I gave it a full week and a half before I jumped back on the trainer.

When I got back on the bike ,any discomfort I felt was more from not being on the bike as opposed to the surgery.

Kevin Kiddle
Friday, February 1, 2002

Nooky allowance

Been there, done that and got the T-shirt!

I had a vasectomy late last year. I had spent the previous year procrastinating over getting it done.

Once I had it done, yeah it hurt for a couple of days. I was off the bike for two weeks to be safe and after that it was good as gold. One word of advice though , don’t believe those evil wives when they promise more action in the bedroom if you get it done.

You go get it done and then they pull out of the deal! I would suggest a formal contract is drawn up between you and your partner stipulating the weekly “nooky” allowance!


Queensland, Australia
Friday, February 1, 2002

Definitely worth it

I am a member of the “breeders” who also decided to stop after two children. I had already stopped racing but was still a very competitive rider who rode weekly with other “retired” cyclists.

I had the no-scalpel vasectomy, which consisted of a small incision at the base of the penis. A local block was applied and I was instructed to wear an athletic supporter, which held in a hockey puck sized kotex pad. I iced the genitals and never experienced any swelling or discomfort.

I did not need to take any pain killers and viewed the overall experience as positive. I had the surgery on Wednesday and was able to walk right afterwards and felt really comfortable by Saturday.

I would lay off the weights and stay out of the gym for at least two weeks in order not to pop the stitches.

That was two years ago and I have returned to competitive cycling with no ill effects. The procedure was definitely worth it. It’s like having unprotected high school sex again.

Hope this helps.

Scott Nelson
Friday, February 1, 2002

You’ll recover soon enough

I had a vasectomy in my mid 40’s during a time when cycling was an infrequent occurrence for me.

At that time it took me eight weeks to recover to the point where I was able to sit in a chair without having to grimace. At about the same time I decided it would be great fun to try to ride.

I got onto the old trusty steed, rode down the driveway, sat on the old Unicanitor saddle and promptly let out a yelp and gave a hop off the saddle, turned around and finished my five second ride. I believe it took about another two months to get to the point where I would try to get back on and at that time I had no problem.

I am now five years post-op, have revisited my passion for cycling and am now putting on 5000 plus miles/year with no side effects as a result of the procedure. Just for grins, I check the staples and all’s well.

Bottom line, get the procedure, and get it over with. You’ll recover soon enough, (I took a very long time) and your wife, family, and savings account will appreciate it. By the way, you’ll go from Cat 4 to Cat 3 soon enough as well if you want it badly enough. Good luck!

Jim Klein
Friday, February 2, 2002

Listen to the Doc

I had my vasectomy on June 25, 2001. I was told no overdoing it for three weeks. Did I listen? Did I heal? The result was, an infection in the Nadgers. A weeks’ course of antibiotics soon cleared it up but knocked me back a further two weeks. My advice, listen to the Doc – they are usually right.

Ian Henry
South Wales
Saturday, February 2, 2002

Back on the bike in a week

I had a vasectomy two years ago, after our third child. I had the surgery one a Friday afternoon. Went home put my legs up with ice between my legs Friday night and Saturday. By the next Tuesday I was in the gym doing upper body workout and rowing. I got back on the road bike for easy riding by the following Friday. I’ve had none of the adverse side effects that you are warned of.

Hope that helps,

Richard Ridlehuber
Saturday, February 2, 2002

Bike too soon equals pure pain

Hello, I’m a cat 4 road racer who had a vasectomy over four years ago (during the middle of cycling season ).

The doctors told me stay off the bike for two weeks. I tried to get back on in one and a half weeks – pure pain.

After two weeks, I made another go at it, same result. Finally, I went to the store bought a big car wash sponge. Every time I went riding or to a race for the next couple of weeks, I taped the sponge up in my crotch for protection, it worked!

That’s all I can tell you.

Tim Wynn
Danville, Pa
Saturday, February 2, 2002

Don’t wait too long

OK, here is my vasectomy story. I never thought I would be sharing it with the world, but I thought that it may be important to share with you.

First of all, after our third child, I had decided to have the procedure done, but I put it off, thinking it would affect my training too much. Well that was a mistake! My wife soon informed me she was pregnant again! (Yes I know how that happens, but she has this power over me…) I certainly was never prepared for four children, my wife begged for months for number three :} (although she is certainly loved, and much wanted now!). I had to get it done soon this time so I would not have number five. After researching all available procedures, I decided on the Scalpel-less procedure, with a doctor who had literally done thousands of scalpel-less procedures.

I timed this to coincide with a recovery week, for minimal disruption to my training schedule. My doctor knew I was training for cycling and thought maybe I would a week, but if I was feeling well I could get on the bike sooner.

He explained to me for this to have a chance to work I had to ELIMINATE any physical activity for at least two full days.

He suggested I get the procedure done on a Friday morning and that I do absolutely nothing but sit, or lie down and continually ice the area and take ibuprofin to aid in reducing swelling. The procedure went very well.

I trained Friday morning before going in, and for 2 1/2 days I did nothing, no lifting and not much walking, lots of ice and anti-inflammatories and of course much Internet surfing, and Tour de France videos (Go Lance!).

By Monday, I was feeling pretty good and decided to test myself with a short ride (30 minutes easy on the trainer). Everything went pretty well, slight soreness and more ice and ibuprofin to treat any inflammation did the trick. The next day one hour riding outside, still ok. The day after, two hours and the next day, three hours. No real problems for me, thank goodness.

All of the training I really ended up missing was two days on the bike! The cost of waiting prior to that was child number four. I did the procedure last March during the first of the month. I don’t know if my results are typical, but in my opinion, going in with a good attitude, complete abstinence from activity for over two days and following my doctors orders to the fullest made my recovery a quick one.

So I guess the moral of the story was waiting to do the procedure got me to double the amount of children I thought I would ever have, and the procedure was really no big deal, well at least for me!

Mike Morgan
Idaho, USA
Saturday, February 2, 2002

Eight days off, no problems

I have three children and the time came for a vasectomy. I had the surgery on a Friday had to lay on the couch with legs up on pillows over the weekend, went back to work on Monday and rode by the following weekend. So I had about eight days off, with no complications or discomfort. Hope this helps and all goes well.

Bill Lutjens
Frenso,Ca, USA
Sunday, February 3, 2002

A little sore but still fast

One of my cycling friends had a vasectomy and as I remember from his telling when we met out on the road one day, I don’t think that he was away from cycling more than two weeks. But I can be wrong.

That day he was a little (I’m not sure of the word but) sore. Although he still was the fastest of us.

Niels Henningsen
Sunday, February 3, 2002

Rollin’ after 48 hours

Don’t sweat it mate…I had all of your concerns before recently having a vasectomy.

The thought of weeks off the bike scared me almost as much as more kids.

I rolled around on my bike 48hrs after the procedure with little discomfort. Four full days later, I was back into full training with only a bit of a weird feeling around the wedding tackle.

I raced in our Australian series (xc MTB) one week after. I had no infection, and took no real drastic measures to avoid this. Basically it was all good…go for it!

Sunday, February 3, 2002

Plan the recovery in

We have three children and decided that was enough, so I drew the short straw on who got the snip (not really but it makes for a good joke).

At the time I was a Cat 3 road and vet expert mountain biker.

I had the scalpel-less procedure on a Friday and was able to do a light ride on the Monday. To reduce the interruption to training, I scheduled the “procedure” prior to my recovery week in February. That way if I didn’t feel up to a workout it wasn’t any loss.

I felt discomfort for a couple of weeks but that was all the time not just when riding. To be cautious, I didn’t do any really strenuous work, VO2 max intervals or heavy lifting, for several weeks but at this time of year it’s not as important. You can always plan the recovery in!

As for the epidydimis inflammation, I have had it before and after and not just when I have been riding. It hasn’t affected whether I ride or not.

Just remember, planning, and more planning.

Hope this helps! PS: How about the tour of Qatar!!!

Ken Germaine
Al Khor, Qatar
ex-Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
Sunday, February 3, 2002

Do it now!

Duncan – do it NOW – take a few weeks off, then just hit the trainer easy for awhile. Hey, you’re a cat 4, with a wife and kids – you looking for more kids?

Had mine done late December four years ago, here’s a tip: wear two pairs of underwear and a jock strap for the whole two weeks and you’ll be way ahead of the game. I didn’t and guess what? Gotta keep that thing wrapped up tight!

Barry Humiston
Sunday, February 3, 2002

Time it well – then take a break

Based on my experience, it would take you a few weeks to feel comfortable on the bike, but I was back pedaling in about a week (albeit, no long riding at first).

You’ll probably feel like a baby elephant at first, because of some bruising, but all things considered, it was no drama for me.

Don’t know about the other things you’ve mentioned. However, much of it probably comes down to giving your body time to recover (like you would after some other injury or procedure).

Finally, if it really matters that you don’t miss any more training than necessary, how about you schedule a punishing long ride for the morning of the operation (or day before), so you’ll feel better about taking some recovery time anyway?! I had myself done straight after the Forster Ironman, so was ready for a rest anyway.

Geoff Davis
Sydney, AUS
Sunday, February 3, 2002

Don’t sweat it

I had a vasectomy at age 30. Was running 100 miles per week at time. Was out for three days back to full routine in five days and no problems. Never had any follow-up problems, a lot of rumors, urban legends re: the results but no problems. Only one problem was first wife who whined until I had the procedure and then wanted me to have a reversal two years later.

I began riding at age 48 with no articular cartilage and no cruciate ligaments in my left knee, (rugby injury in 1987).

The existing knee injury finally caught up to me in the late 1980’s after a long stint in competitive marathon running. The cycling began some 20 years after the vasectomy and there has never been a problem in spite of 15 hours a week in the saddle all year long and average year mileage in excess o 10,000 pa.

Don’t sweat it.

Robert Clay
Sunday, February 3, 2002

It’s all good

Mate, I know how your feeling, but don’t worry – it’s all good.

I was done 10/12/01, a Monday. Tried riding Saturday (and) nuts just a little Uncomfortable, so I went home after 10 minutes.

I tried again Monday arvo, an easy one-hour ride, felt great. I still only rode flat routes for that week but no pain.

The killer is, you have to shave completely and the regrowth prickles are the worst.

Have no fear, you don’t lose any urges at all.

You still shoot exactly as before. No hormones are affected at all but you still have to get tested the next week.

The fourth day is commonly the worst. I was wondering what the hell I had done to myself, with no sympathy from the missus (who said), “you wimp try and push out two babies, then you will know about pain is!” On the fifth day, all was settling down well then it just got slightly Uncomfortable. No running around with the kids for two weeks – the jarring will pull you up real quick. Go do it mate, but remember there is no turning back .

Trevor Olsen
Lawnton Queensland, Australia
Monday, February 4, 2002

No change to performance

Mine was done in the off season. I had very little discomfort overall and was back doing maintenance riding and lifting in 10 – 14 days.

I only waited that long on physician’s advice, as I had very little pain. I was back to heavy training after one month.

The only long lasting effects are a tightness in the sutures periodically, usually in conjunction with some other illness like the flu or cold.

I’m Cat 2 track/Cat 3 road, & the surgery has not made a noticeable change in my performance on or off the bike.

Kurt Otter
Monday, February 4, 2002

Not that painful

I did it right after my second child for the same reason. The doctor told me no lifting, running or cycling for one week. I lifted after two days, ran after three and rode on post day five – easy, no hammering.

The procedure and aftermath are not that painful. I know I was a bad patient, but hey I’m as compulsive as the rest of you. Besides, we’re all smarter than our doctors, right?

Seriously, it was a few years ago, and I didn’t do any damage that I’m aware of.

Michael Rosen
Monday, February 4, 2002

Cycling versus other activity

I had my vasectomy in 1994. At the time I was a weekly mountain biker who rode every Saturday morning. I had my procedure on a Tuesday and missed the next Saturday ride, but was out there the following Saturday. So I was off less than two weeks.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend running for at least that long and doing leg exercises in the weight room would probably be inadvisable. Since that time I have started riding more frequently and started road cycling, including riding several century rides each year and I have had no long term ill effects.

If it were me I would not wait until next off-season. There are some physical activities I enjoy even more than cycling (OK, just one!) and I’d rather miss a couple weeks of training than end up with more children than I really wanted!

John Wright
San Ramon, Ca
Monday, February 3, 2002

I’d do it again

I had mine done two years ago. It was pretty much complication free.

I stayed off the bike for eight days and had only slight discomfort for another week or so. The key is liberal use of the frozen pea/corn bag immediately after surgery.

I would definitely do it again if I had the opportunity and there is zero change sexually. Actually it’s better, not having to use protection.

I shopped around a bit and went to a specialist urologist and paid #$$ instead of going to a HMO dude. It may make a difference.

blue skies, black balls

Craig G. Fenstermaker
Monday, February 3, 2002

Christmas present for the wife

The procedure is not bad. It takes about 8-10 minutes, the incision is about 1/2 an inch, or one stitch. I finished at 3pm on a Friday, drove myself to get a movie or two and then home to the couch.

Next day I was sore and stayed off my feet for one more day. Took a good walk on Sunday, then back work on Monday.

The Doctor said no lifting, riding etc for 10-21 days according to how you feel. I went running about a mile at seven days and urinated a little blood the next day so I took four more days off. Then all was fine. Was a little nervous about weights. Waited about a month, but probably could have started at three weeks.

Did not get on the bike because of several feet of snow, but I probably could have done an easy flat ride at two to three weeks.

The thing is, after the vas deferens are cut and cauterized, any great pressure can cause bleeding. The loose ends also start to recede or pull up into the body (this is what I felt).

Exercise seemed to make them move around a little, so in the mornings I felt a little sore for about three weeks (like a groin pull). The cut is not the painful part, its the internal healing you have to worry about. Yes, the possibility is epidydimits is greater for the first year, but it’s still a very small percent.

The no scalpel version is not practiced much in the USA, mostly in China. But, once again, the incision is not the sore part.

Here is my time line: Schedule the weekend before Thanksgiving so you have six days to recover before the family activities. Enjoy the holiday, and when it’s all over with you are nine days into recovery.

Back to light training the first week of December and what a Christmas present for the wife!

By the way, the humor and jokes do not start until you go back for the follow-up sample collection eight weeks later.

Sterile in Utah (You didn’t think I would put my name did you?)

Surfing: Dane Reynolds reclaims his soul from competitive surfing

Surfing is a multimillion $ industry that sucks the life soul and money out of millions whilst rewarding a few (generally company men) Dane has said enough …. the story from Magic Seaweed …

at the Search 2011

Dane 2011 at The Search, Ocean Beach© 2011 – Lucia Griggi

DANE Reynolds is leaving the world of competitive surfing. It’s just not for him. That jersey has just never fitted quite snug and the podium isn’t a mountain he aspires to ascend. He’s pretty pissed-off with internet commentators and the vocal minority who like to give him a kicking for wanting to vibe down that classic soul surfer path. Hell you’ve got one life, ‘this is no audition’ as the saying goes, he doesn’t owe anyone anything. But Dane, and there’s always a but, taking this route is a privilege most cannot afford, so please be a bum to the best of your abilities. 

A letter from Dane to you:

i’ve been getting some pressure from various people and/or websites to write something, sorta like an official statement concerning my exit from the world tour. my dismount. my pirouette. ‘an opportunity level with your fans.’ that’s what they tell me. people wanna know whats goin on. be up to date. i can understand that. i like knowing whats going on. i like being up to date.

one thing to remember is that i have a heart and i have bones and muscle and skin and eyes and teeth. i have emotions. sometimes i act according to emotions. sometimes i think and make a conscious decision. i usually do that. in fact i usually think too much. sorta neurotic. i make mistakes, and i deal with them. i have fears and i have anxiety and i have insecurities and i have vices which i often give in to. social situations enhance all of these qualities. i could probably use some discipline, and lots of things bum me out, but generally i’m happy, and i enjoy making other people happy. sometimes all it takes is a smile. sometimes it takes a lot more than that. i try to be honest. especially with myself. i know that i’m fortunate. i’m sitting here and i have a pulse and i can breath and i hear birds outside and the buzz of the freeway and the suns about to set and it’s a friday. that’s fortune. i also know that i’m fortunate in many other ways. three brands support me and enable me to surf every day and travel and eat and have a house to live in. in return i represent their company in a positive way. i feel like i do a decent job. but that’s obviously up for debate. surfing is my passion in life. i always think about how lucky we are that there’s even an ocean, and its not too hot or too turbulent and it’s not made of acid that burns our skin off. and how lucky is it that the land tapers into the ocean in just the right way so that when lumps of energy approach from a thousand miles away they gently rise up and crash at just the perfect speed so that we can wave our little arms and match their speed and hang at the crest weightless for just a second before sliding down the face. free to ride it in any way you please. and there’s not just one of them. there’s tons of them. they keep coming. all different sizes shapes and speeds. everyday they’re different. endless joy.

there are of course a number of things that get in the way of feeling this joy: crowds, twitter impostors, eggy locals, eggy surf bloggers, overzealous surf photographers, chris mauro and rip curl contests, just to name a few. that was sort of a joke, but not really, and besides, surfing isn’t just about joy. it’s also a sport. an industry. and we must not mix business with pleasure. by accepting endorsements i assume a certain responsibility. some think that responsibility is to compete. to put on a jersey and crush my opponent. despite a flimsy one dimensional criteria and an inconsistent playing field that causes the end result to rarely come down to performance alone. maybe that’s the fun of it. i don’t know. i do enjoy it. but do i believe in it? enough to dedicate the better part of my life to it? or is that irrelevant because it’s my responsibility? i didn’t have to answer this question because knee surgery in january answered for me. by the time i was healing i was already gone. three buttons to the wind. adventure over responsibility. career suicide! blowing my potential. wasting my talent. i heard the buzz.

in all reality i was being constructive in a different way, traveling to a variety of locations and pushing personal boundaries in an attempt to learn, grow, and improve. it’s not as immediate as a contest webcast, and heaven forbid its enjoyable, but in the end it’s equally important and i’ve been neglecting it for too long because i was in a comfy space where contest results alone were satisfying. in order to be successful in surf competition you need to refine your act into a nice little package presentable in a 30 minute period in a number of trying conditions. you need to kill the variables. trim the loose ends. stay on your board. know your equipment. wave selection. endlessly try to revisit motions that score the most points. there are obviously exceptions to this. kelly slaters full rotation slob air reverse in new york. that was not a motion revisited and it was epic. on the beach afterwards: ‘so kelly slater, how was that slob air reverse!’ ‘oh, is that what that’s called?’ also john john florence and gabriel medina. maybe it’s only a matter of time before they refine their act, but for now i’m really impressed with their competitive success despite such rawness. rawness is good. surfing with john john this year in japan was enlightening. it was like every wave he was exploring new territory. i wanna explore new territory! i wanna unwind! by the end of the trip i felt improved and rejuvenated and then crunch! i busted my ribs at the mercy of a fresh typhoon swell. nearly drowned. another month out of the water. gotta pay to play. especially when you’re trying to keep up with john john in waves of consequence.

This vest never fitted comfortable like…© 2011 – Marie-Claire Ferrer

and so here i am. 26. officially off tour. wasted talent. blown potential. refusing responsibility. ‘all he wants to do is sit at home and play with crayons and ride fucked up boards.’ but wait! but wait! that’s not true! don’t listen to chris mauro. he’s a dinosaur. doesn’t get it. this may be the end as a wct contender, but its also a new beginning. i feel like a baseball. the skins been carefully pried off and there’s a thread and i’m gonna pull it and i’m gonna end up a pile of string on the floor. but then maybe i’ll be knit into something more useful, like a sweater. or perhaps something beautiful, like a hand embroidered masterpiece of a deer and two fawn drinking cold clear water out of a creek. but you never know. i hope to achieve some sort of balance. yeah, i do like riding fucked up boards, but i also like doing airs and taking some aggression out on a cutback. and competings rad if you can stay inspired, but rankings and trophy’s mean very little to me. i wanna learn, i wanna make things, things of purpose, be productive. travel. new experiences. new sensations. and most importantly explore the outer limits of performance surfing. i’ll still compete. but its not going to consume me.

finding this balance will be a challenge. but its just a step in an endless set of steps. a staircase. it’s sort of a big step. too big to just hop up. i gotta climb. like, with a rope and safety gear and shit. and i might get there and be bummed out and like my old step better but that’s just the mystery of life and i’m happy to experience it. and i’m endlessly in debt to the ones who make it possible. firstly surf fans who have resonated with my surfing for one reason or another, because at the bottom of everything, you’re the only reason i’m able to have the sponsorship that allows me to travel and eat and pay the bills and continue surfing. secondly my sponsors: channel islands believed in me from the ripe age of 13 and continue to craft boards that allow me perform at my highest potential and also craft boards that have nothing to do with performance at all, but make you realize how much joy you can get out of a simple high line. i thank quiksilver for their unwavering support, re-signing me during a year of uncertainty and working with me on honest marketing and products. i also thank vans for picking me up. every person on the team is one of my favorite surfers and/or people and i’m honored to be apart of it. there are, of course, hundreds of people worth thanking here, but this is who comes to mind tonight: my girlfriend courtney, for giving me inspiration, giving me perspective, giving me love and giving me treats. blair, for keeping my otherwise maelstrom of a life in order. my parents, for their conflicting views. i don’t think i would have done very well in an ordinary functioning family household. my father particularly for dedicating countless weekends driving me up and down the coast to compete. that was a huge sacrifice. also my mom for preaching creativity, fearlessness, and keeping everything bullshit free. and my brother brek for administering many humbling experiences from a very early age. my grandparents, for being probably my biggest fans on earth. particularly grandma bonnie and papa chuck, who come to every surf contest on the west coast. they show up at 7 am to get good parking, even if i surf at 3. and also grandpa bob for giving me his super 8 cameras when i was 18 and instilling a lifelong hobby.


Everything Dane is and will be on