The Cyclo-Colic reflex

I’ve got to admit, it wasn’t increasing gas prices that got me out of my car and back onto my bike this winter.  No, it wasn’t even a sense of solidarity with the brave staffers who continue to bike into Brown University.

I needed to poop.  Brown.

After a week of driving to the hospital to avoid icy streets, idiot drivers, and cold, I also realized that I hadn’t been moving the bowels every afternoon as has been the habit.  I also gained five pounds, probably in a positive in-out balance.  This Monday, I decided that something had to give.

There’s something about riding a bike that just really gets the good old GI moving.  Physiologically, there’s a process known as the gastrocolic reflex, in which your happy stomach convinces your gut to push some feces out to make room for more nutrition.  I dub this the cyclo-colic reflex, a phenomenon that I will assume true given some external validation.  Then there’s Indian food, which does the same thing in about two hours.  Amazing.

Perhaps this is another reason that pro cyclists are so thin.  Imagine the success of an Indian national cycling team – bombs away!

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