Sunday, September 06, 2009

Snot Rocket

Among the many pleasures associated with bicycle riding—snaking through a line of cars stuck in traffic, bombing down a hill after a few beers, savoring a tailwind on a Sunday morning smoke n’ spoke—one should not overlook that simplest of joys afforded to riders of all styles and persuasions, beloved by all except those who travel too closely behind; I refer, of course to the classic proboscis projectiling, the aptly-monikered “snot rocket.”

While standing on a street corner blowing your nose without a handkerchief is rightly construed as disgusting and gross, doing so while in the saddle of a moving bicycle is, again but for those traveling too closely behind, perfectly acceptable (at least to me, and since I’m the one writing this, so there.)

There are a number of techniques one may employ.

Some prefer the thumb-over-nostril style, accompanied by a long, deep exhale. Traditional and effective as this method is, it has the downside of positioning the elbow such that stray spray may occasionally find the crook of the arm.

Others opt for using an extended index finger laid along side the schnozz, a la Santa Clause heading up-chimney; however, one must be careful that the “products of ejection” clear the wrist when doing so.

For these reasons, as well as broader aesthetic considerations, I prefer the bent index finger/lower knuckle approach; not only is a solid seal created between digit and nosehole for superior propulsion throughout the process, riders are reasonably assured by the angles of exit, of arriving at their destinations with forearms, and even shirtfronts, relatively free of unwanted spotting.

Of course, the to success is riding speed; the snot rocket launched while speeding downhill is far safer than one initiated while mashing upwards; seasoned practitioners often wait until they crest a rise to initiate launch sequence.

I myself am not that picky; I prefer to savor said pleasure whenever possible, as do others, save those travelling too closely behind.


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