Question: Recently I suffered from a frostbitten penis on a long ride in sub-freezing temperatures. I wore heavy tights over cycling shorts. The worst part was explaining what happened to the female emergency room doctor. What can I do to prevent this misery from happening again? — Dan S.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: It’s quite easy for guys to suffer this problem. The solution is extra layers of wind protection and insulation.
Wear tights with a windproof nylon panel in front. Sew on a panel if your tights don’t have one.
When you dress, tuck your base layer down around your privates. Then insert a square of fleece material for extra insulation. You could also stuff in a thin knit hat or a winter-weight sock.
Stay aware of how your private parts feel as you ride. In very low windchills, you can get numb and frostbitten quite quickly.
Limit your distance in frigid temperatures. Remember, your pedaling speed always creates a penetrating windchill. You can get a decent ride in 90 minutes, but staying out longer makes it that much harder to prevent your feet, hands and other parts from freezing.
Thank you for writing about it. I’ve read 50 articles on Winter riding and not one mentioned it. Unfortunately I found out the hard way. You might think something as important as this topic is would be front and center. It’s a men’s health issue but sadly it’s not the romantic fluff writers choose to write about. Thank you for keeping it real.