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« Jean Robic: The little giant | Main | Road Cyclist’s Ten Commandments »

Batman and Robin never had this problem

Road cyclists as a group are under attack again. Recently there was the New Jersey Quick Release Ban, now there is a movement afoot to ban cycling shorts in Salt Lake City, Utah. A group calling themselves Citizens for Decent Public Attire, finds the skin tight cycling shorts worn by local cyclists, offensive.

The fears of this group are unfounded and the women of Utah are safe; I can assure them that there is nothing quick release about a pair of bib shorts.

After giving this issue much thought, it occurred to me that Batman and Robin, Superman and all the other super heroes of yesteryear wore tights and never had this problem. And they were on television in an era when censorship was far more strict than today.

For example, at that time, married couples could not be shown in the same bed together. Also remember, this was children's television and had the brim of the hat been even slightly visible, there would have been hell to pay.

So how did the Dynamic Duo get away with it? It was not that these actors were not well endowed; they didn't call Robin "The Boy Wonder" for nothing.

The answer was in discrete padding in their tights that made them appear Genitalia-less. Only the slightest hint of a bulge in the pubic area, just enough to distinguish Batman from Batwoman. The result, no one was offended.

The manufactures of cycling shorts should take note; the technology to make the penis as invisible as a stealth bomber on the radar screen was there in the 1950s, and can be used again today.

It appears that Performance Bicycle may already be using this concept. (See picture, right.)

I can imagine the potential for some catchy advertising like: "The Anti-bacterial padding in these shorts is cleverly placed for a low profile, less pretentious package."

Or: "Extreme comfort level for both the wearer and the casual observer."

It also occurred to me, and again, the idea sprang from television censorship. Today anything offensive we might see on TV is Pixilated; blurred out so we can't see the details.

Here is an idea; why not print the pixilation right on the shorts in the crotch area.

Any innocent bystander who might accidentally gaze in that direction, would see the pixilation, and being accustomed to seeing this on TV would be satisfied that the matter had been taken care of.

The pixilation should be extended from the crotch to the rear of the shorts, because when those white shorts get wet, we can see your butt crack.

I should start charging money for ideas like this, but I do it for the good of the sport of cycling.


Reader Comments (16)

One of the rides out in central Oklahoma stopped to re-group under a large tree in front of a house every week. Shade is a cherished commodity in an Oklahoma summer. One day, as they waited for the rest of the riders to show, a police car pulled up and said they'd received a complaint about indecent exposure.

The cop had just arrived when the door to the house flew open and a woman emerged demanding the cops arrest the lot. "You can see EVERYTHING!" she said.

The cop just laughed a little and sent them on their way, but recommended they choose a different tree next time.
July 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Ed W
Wow, I think we need to let Utah secede from the union. These folks must be related to people currently crying about street posts here in Oregon. What's next, no swimsuits at the beach?
July 6, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter jds, md
Bike shorts are obscene. Especially red ones! I have some Pearl Izumi shorts that are extremely sheer.

Oh that "phallic symbol" thing in Oregon is a hoot!
July 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Fritz
Holy Smokes, Batman!
July 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Lisa
Is Utah hypocritical perhaps? In Arches National Park there’s the Garden of Eden, and scattered throughout it are huge petrified penises. Is this why they call it Eden? Since families make this a regular stop, I bet Utah would like to put a rating system in the park-but it’s National not a State Park.
On my first day in Italy, I rode with a local racer that wore (gasp) white shorts! Like you said Dave, on a clear day you can see forever (although on wet days you may see farther). And on another ride we walked into (gasp again) a church while services were ongoing, cleats clicking and shorts girding our loins. Nobody gave us any dirty looks, much less stared.
Hey, the Greeks used to wrestle nude during the original Olympics.
I find it indecent of people to impose their judgments on others. Is this hypocrisy?
July 7, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter VintageSpin

Great idea with the pixellated shorts but I think someone's already beat you to it.


(or www.fatcyclist.com and scroll down a bit)

Fat Cyclist DOES live in Utah... coincidence? Hmm...
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter taz
*checks to see if it's April 1st*


July 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter John
This post has been removed by the author.
July 16, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Patrick
The article does mention that the author is a writer of SATIRE.
July 16, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Patrick
As a resident of Utah, and someone who works in Salt Lake City, and someone who regularly reads the City Weekly "news"paper (news used in the loosest translation) I can say that the article is pure satire. Sorensen writes a different fictional "editorial" article each week.
July 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter velofreak
I realized the article was satire, that’s why I responded with a tongue in cheek satirical piece.

I try to keep this blog a balance of information and entertainment. Regular readers get to know me and can tell which is which.
July 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Dave Moulton
Vintagespin: The ancient Greeks also liked little boys, so I'm not sure I'd hold them up as a model of decorum.
July 22, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
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August 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter buja
Actually, I recall that Batman & Robin *did* have this problem. I remember reading about groups of wingnut after the producers to make Robin wear a jock strap, or more jock straps. It was quite the controversey.

December 11, 2007 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
Thought I throw this in the ring... Nobody ever complained about Captain Kirk's attire back then.

February 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous

Why should they mind the cyclist's attire when almost all the TV dancers and the MTV videos these days are nearly naked?

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPedals Cycling
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