Living Together Might Be Just as Beneficial as Marrying, Especially for Women

So much for the undying stereotype that women need marriage like a fish needs fish gills: New research has found that women get just as much of an emotional boost out of just shacking up as they do out of making it legal. And “emotional boosts” are supposed to be the lady drug of choice.

Source: Living Together Might Be Just as Beneficial as Marrying, Especially for Women

But if you don’t get married, how will you get all those useless presents on your registry?  I want a really good blender.  I also want a mixer because manual whisking is for suckers.

What the article doesn’t mention is that beyond culture, there are still many legal benefits, regulations and bureaucratic details that favor “married” couples.  Which is one component to why emotional stress diminishes…

Ladies: Don’t Be Afraid of Chest Workouts

Workouts that include dedicated chest routines will improve your upper body strength, posture, and confidence. Unfortunately, many ladies discount these chest-acular benefits from fear based on misguided notions. Here’s what you need to know about chest exercises and how they actually affect your—ahem—ta-tas.

Source: Ladies: Don’t Be Afraid of Chest Workouts

It’s another myth that needs to die.

Study: Overweight Men Just as Likely as Overweight Women to Face Discrimination

Men who are overweight are just as likely as overweight women to experience interpersonal discrimination when applying for a job or shopping at retail stores, according to new research from Rice University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNCC).

Source: Overweight men just as likely as overweight women to face discrimination

The study doesn’t actually focus on weight, but the appearance of weight. They used the same set of men in all of the their tests. They just added prosthetics (fat suits) to make them look fat for some scenarios.  There’s a reason you’ll never see overweight business models, but it’s a fact that being overweight will never allow you to look as well put together and professional as being in shape.

While the article/study doesn’t mention is insurance.  Health insurance will cost more for those with health issues – that’s just how the system works.  But health insurance isn’t going to stop someone from getting hired.

Study: The Body Shape That Protects Women From Diabetes

I’m in shape – “round” is a shape.

Pear-shaped women are “significantly” less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with smaller hips, according to new research.

The findings, which were presented this weekend at the American Society of Human Genetics’ annual meeting, traced the connection to a genetic variation carried by women with hips that are larger in comparison to the rest of their body.

Source: The Body Shape That Protects Women From Diabetes

Regardless, as we gain weight – the likelihood of getting [type 2] diabetes increases.

Men Who are Bad at Video Games More Likely to Show Hostility to Women

If you’re a man who is crap at games, like me, then you are significantly more likely to be a dick to any women who rock up and start playing games alongside you. That’s according to a study published on PLOS ONE that sought to test the hypothesis that “female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status.”

Source: The worse you are at games, the more likely you are to be hostile to women, says one study

I don’t think video games are intrinsic to this for the reason most would think.  Any online game, where people can be set against others, would illicit the response.  The likelihood is higher for games that support more than two players (chess, checkers, etc), but will happen all the same.  Online game play provides more random sampling, otherwise you’re playing people who are acquaintances or known by acquaintances.

I’m curious to see how low ranked/poor players deal with other known trigger groups – various minorities, etc.

Who is Healthier: ‘Foodies’ or Picky Eaters?

Food lovers may seem like the type who should watch their weight, but a new study suggests people who enjoy trying new and exciting foods may actually be healthier than those who are more picky.

Source: Who’s Healthier: ‘Foodies’ or Picky Eaters?

I think it really depends on what you eat, and volume of.  Beyond that, if we don’t enjoy it – we won’t do it.  So it makes sense why a foodie might be healthier.

Mortality Gap: Why Women Live Longer than Men

In every single country on the planet, women live longer than men. In response to this unpleasant fact, men are fond of replying, “That’s because we have to put up with women.” Humorous though it may be, that’s not the actual reason women live longer than men. In fact, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th Century that the “mortality gap” between men and women became so striking.

To investigate the underlying reason for the gender gap in life expectancy, a team of researchers examined mortality data for people born between 1800 and 1935 in 13 developed countries. Using this data, they were able to determine changes in the male-female mortality ratio, as well as determine when and why women began to outlive men.

Source: Mortality Gap: Why Women Live Longer than Men

The over 40 sample is great because it eliminates the two biggest gender specific dangers – childbirth and war.  I would really like to see a study comparing the life spans of childless women, compared to those with children.  One advantage of pregnancy prior to age 30 is a reduced risk of breast cancer.  But pregnancy increases risk for osteoporosis associated complications.

You Won’t Believe the Things Women in the Bike Biz Get Asked

As crazy as it sounds, sooner or later you’ll encounter a woman working in a bike shop. We offer some hints on how to communicate with this rare species, because 1) it’s just polite and 2) they’re happily becoming a whole lot less rare.

Source: You won’t believe the things women in the bike biz get asked

Some even race!  Get sponsorships…

I believe women participating in building my cyclocross bike, welding and such.

Cycling: About Women Specific Bikes

It’s rubbish – there is no such thing.  Here’s why –

There is a variety of body types, shapes and sizes.  And that has nothing to do with gender.  Some will have a longer inseam (legs) than others, just as torso and arms.  Height simply does not tell the entire story.

Important Measurements

The one of two measurements that matter on a bike is the effective top tube length.  I mention “effective” for a reason – on some bikes, the actual tube is sloped.  On bikes with a step-through, the top tube is extremely low and sometimes curved.  The reason this is important is because if too small, you’ll be hunched over – uncomfortable.  You can make this work by compensating with a longer stem, but it will impact steering.  If the effective top tube is too long, there’s not really anything that can be done – you’ll be overextended.

The second important measurement is your inseam length.  There’s no connection/correlation of torso length to inseam length, on anybody.  But the inseam length will give you a starting point for what frame size to be trying.

The length of the crank arm (where the pedals attach) is useless.  There are studies to demonstrate that there is no value in having a longer crank arm.  In reality, a longer crank arm means:

  • more material, thus more weight
  • less distance between the tip of the crank arm and the ground when the arm is at the 6 o’clock position – less clearance.

Road crank arms are typically 170 mm, and increment by 2.5 mm.  The impact of changing cranks arms that are different lengths?  Your seat/saddle needs to be adjusted.

Bike Fitting

I can not stress how important it is to get a bike fit.  Some are incredibly equipped for this – sensors to indicate which leg is dominant when you pedal, and your hip orientation/weighting on the seat/saddle.  Someone should be watching you ride to tweak where necessary – the experience must be more than using a plumb bob.  A bike fitter should be able to give you information that you can then use to shop for bikes in the future.

What is Women Specific about Bicycles?

The saddle?  In reality this is as personal a choice as any component, including the bike.  Something that fits your seat bones is the primary concern, but beyond that – some like/want cushion (gel padded seats were once the rage), some don’t.  Some prefer something minimalist, like the Adamo.  I have a full carbon race saddle.  When I say “full carbon”, I mean – it is entirely carbon fiber.  I love it – it’s incredibly light at ~100 grams, and I’ve always been comfortable on it (stop wincing).   My only complaint is the saddle likes to catch on my cycling bib material when I’m out of the saddle, and has torn the material.

I’ve seen some complaints that women’s bikes should be lighter.  Sorry, but clearly these people aren’t aware that everyone wants a lighter bike.  It’s a privilege you have to pay for.  That said, components don’t get lighter.  The reality is that if there were lighter alternatives, men who cycle would buy it too.  Even if you put pink on it…  One would think that kids bikes would have benefited from crossover with women’s bikes, but that’s yet to be the case.  Part of the issue with kids bikes is that kids likely outgrow the bikes…

It’s not that the industry pushed this on the consumer.  The reality is that women in general assume that there is something inherently male about bicycles, so the branding was necessary to attract them.  Admittedly, the colour options aren’t great.  Cycling isn’t as bad as golf, but the spandex/lycra aspect puts it pretty close.

That said, like anything – a custom order will be a better idea for anyone.  Which is possible, but again – you will pay more for this vs an off-the-shelf model.  On that note, I would never buy someone’s custom bike for the fact it would likely not be good for me.

What Bike Would You Recommend?

For your first “real” bike?  Cyclocross (CX).

A CX frame falls between a road and touring for setup.  Meaning, it won’t be as aggressive as a road bike, but more aggressive than a touring style bike.  That translates into comfort…

Next, a CX frame typically has eyelets/mounts for fenders and a rear rack, and supports wide tires.  Road frames typically do not have any of these features.  You can Gerry-rig something, but it’s not ideal.  There’s nothing that can be done for tire clearance, and most find smaller tires to provide a harsher ride…

It’s apparent why I recommend a CX bike.  If you aren’t a pro cyclist, you still have a bike that can do pretty much anything: commuting, touring, road, offroad…  If you’re inclined – you can do road racing on a CX frame.  But no one recommends riding a road frame on a CX route.

Three Women Who Changed the Course of History On Bicycles

Susan B. Anthony, famed suffragette leader and women’s rights reformer, once said of the bicycle, “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.” Anthony described the image of a woman on a bicycle as “the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

It may seem surprising that the bicycle could have played such a pivotal role in the women’s rights movement. What exactly was it about this familiar two-wheeled transportation device that lent itself so freely to unparalleled social change?

Source: Three Women who Changed the Course of History On Bicycles

It was certainly revolutionary to wear bloomers/pants/slacks, but all you need is a penny: