A Silent Friend. Bicycle


Somebody can tell you that it is a common thing.  Somebody can write college essay about sports  and convince that cycling is just a hobby. But not for passionate cyclist. A bicycle is not just a thing. It is not a ride. Nobody wants to mistreat it, and everyone loves it. A bike comes with so much; the connection is that of a friend. A bicycle is a silent friend that will always have your best interests. You might be asking yourself what this is all about but the truth does not change, I can say this a hundred times and never feel weird about it.

A good friend is there whenever you are ready to go

I have friends that will bring up an idea of a day out and never show up. They will say sorry, and you will move on. They will repeat the same mistake, and you will forgive and move on. They will give an excuse on the third day; you will feel angry, forgive and move. What if a friend that says, “I will be waiting when you are ready.” The bicycle is the always-ready silent friend. They are ready anytime, any day to any place.

A good friend ensures you are in good shape; you keep fit all the time

Some friends go to the gym without you. They go without you, and it does not break their heart to see you having fitness issues, others will say, “Hit the gym bro!” others will pull you to the gym. The bicycle is the friend that will always keep you fit. They will still want you to carry some water, some glucose, some energizer, to keep your steam as you maintain a good body shape.

A good friend is ready to be fixed when they have a problem

Friends listen to you when they ask for help; they heed your advice. They follow the path you advise them too. It does get personal whenever they have a problem, and they feel they need help. The bicycle is just but one of those friends. You can change them, and they will be happy with what they have become after following your advice. Whatever solution you will provide them, they are ready to consider for their good.

Good friends do not care if you are late

Man is a busy being. Something always comes up. If you had plans for the day, then Mr. / Mrs. Bicycle will wait. They will not whine about how long it took you to get there. They will not reschedule on such a special arrangement even if the night out goes till late. They will not care if you are late, they will go when you are ready.

A good friend makes you happy

 Not all the days will you be a happy person. Those days you need the right company. You need the friend that will get the best out of you. You need the friend that will awake that hidden smile. A bicycle is that friend. You can go to it and talk to it, not crazy at all. You can go out with and sing together with it. You can get back to your good spirits.

A good bike introduces you to its other friends

I have walked with friends that will keep you at some shed to see a friend just around the corner. They do not want you to see their friends. The bicycle is the not always jealous friend. On it, you can meet its friends, introduce yourself to these friends and never worry about waiting for an hour when you could be seated together learning and knowing about other new friends.



Physiological and Psychological Effects of Anabolic Steroids

The desire to win sometimes takes over the morality of a sportsperson, making them take the risk of being caught. It has been proven in innumerable studies that, in the long run, AAS use and abuse causes extensive physiological and psychological damage, not limited to the reproductive, endocrinal, digestive and circulatory systems.

Physiological Effects

The liver is the most affected due to steroid abuse due to inability to get alkalised if taken orally and due to direct entry into the bloodstream in aces of injection. The effects are more jarring in adolescents and thus young players must be stopped from getting addicted.

The most typical cardiac abnormality in AAS abusers is left ventricular hypertrophy, associated with fibrosis and myocytolysis. Users of steroid, when compared to nonusers, in the long term, have been found to have twice the probability for a cardiovascular issue leading to death, infertility issues due to nuroendocrinological imbalance and increased chances of brain damage.

Another facet of abuse is increased risk of tearing of the tendons, due to reduced collagen production and this affects normal skeletal movement. Extensive acne is reported as a common side effect across studies.

Long term use, though initially causes high libido, has been linked to impotency due to high levels of testosterone limiting natural sperm production. Some players report heightened aggressiveness, diminished fatigue and speedy recovery of damaged muscles. Probably the most apparent change in a female athlete is the masculinization of features.

Injection users usually oversee the risk of infection due to shared or non-sterile devices and poor methods and are thus susceptible to disease like HIV and Hepatitis.

Psychological Effects

There is not much difference between AAS users and non users with respect to response speed, sustained attention, and verbal memory but research has \confirmed extensive damage to memory, especially to the part of the brain dealing with Visio spatial memory.

There are extensive mood swings, increased aggression, reduced sleep, increased self-motivation, oscillating with higher anxiety and depression. At least 20% of the abusers had sought medical help for mental problems.

Major research study on AAS

The period from 60s to 90s saw a lot of controversy on the physiological and psychological effects of steroids on the human body. A lot of what we know on the effect of steroids comes from the work of Shalender Bhasin, whose path breaking experiment of 1996 is cited by Griffiths, Murray, Mitchison, & Mond. The paper was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine and detailed a study of 43 men divided into groups and administered with varying amounts of steroids, with all other factors being constant, for a span of 10 weeks. He found that a weekly dose of 600 gm of Testosterone Enanthate caused hypertrophy of the skeletal muscles and weight gain of over 6 kilograms with exercise and 3 kilograms without exercise, during the study period. His study also found no saturation limit found for the said weight gain and that all of the 3 and 6 kilograms mentioned above was put on within the last 6 to 7 weeks of the study alone.

The reason of inaccurate results is due to the fact that there are many variables affecting the muscle strength of a player like diet, performance anxiety and genetics. It is very important that more research on the negative impact of steroids is conducted and all information thereof is made available to the public. It is required that the new generation of sportsmen and students stay away from these drugs and putting their lives in peril. 

Anabolic Steroids (AAS) in Sports

The quest for performance enhancing drugs has been there since many centuries with many old civilisations each having their own version of substances they considered improved stamina, built or both. Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are any synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals that introduce and/or modify the molecular structure of testosterone and enhancing the body’s muscle building. Unfortunately due to this characteristic, these drugs are being used, and in most cases abused, by users, mostly in the field of sports and media, especially with athletes and weight lifting professionals.

The most common reason one hears for the use of anabolic steroids is to quickly put on mass and muscle and to improve strength and physical looks. However, research abounds on the detrimental effects of steroid use in the long run, including masculinities in women and gynocomastia in men and even reduced life expectancy in both genders.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) defines doping as the “use of endogenous or exogenous substances in abnormal amounts intended to increase the performance of athletes in competition”. The rule was passed in 1964 and athletes were tested starting 1968. Anabolic steroids are very much part of this list along with other substances like narcotics, peptide hormones and other stimulants and are therefore prohibited for use by sportsmen.

The first case of doping and abuse of steroids was reported in 1950 with Russian athletes and the first documented fatality as a result of doping was during the 1960 Olympics. The IOC banned doping in 1964 and adopted testing from 1967. However, reports of medicines being used to work around the tests were found in 1970 and a more stringent test was initiated in 1976 Olympics. 1988 saw Ben Johnson become the first Olympic gold medal winner in track and field to be stripped of his medal after testing positive for AAS, followed by Marion Jones, being stripped of 5 gold medals. The most recent case is that of Lance Armstrong, who in 2013, was stripped of all seven Tour de France titles won from 1999, given a lifetime ban by the International Cycling Union and later being tripped of Olympic bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Games.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), requires all sportsmen to adhere to a revised code against use of prohibited substances and has five standards – testing, laboratories, exceptions for medical use, list of prohibited substances and confidentiality of information. Anyone thus found using AAS is said to have violated the code.

The biochemistry of steroids

Steroids are essentially lipids and are produced by various organs in the human body from cholesterol. The three essential types of steroids in the body are – androgens or male hormones, oestrogen or female hormones and cortisone, a hormone produced by both sexes to control critical bodily functions, including cardiovascular and skeletal muscles. The two main types of synthetic steroids include corticosteroids, variants of cortisone, used for treatment of conditions like asthma and AAS, variants of testosterone with very little true medical use.

The most common method of administering steroids is orally or through intramuscular injections, though commercially, skin attachments and sprays are also available. It depends on the synthesis of the drug and the manner in which the testosterone molecule has been modified. When used, testosterone molecules enter the cell and attach themselves to a testosterone receptor and move to penetrate the nucleus where they bind to specific portions of the DNA to release RNam. They then detach themselves and become inactive. Since the upper half of the human body has significantly more number of such receptors for the steroid to attach to, there is better muscle accumulation in the torso due to the drug.

Three is also a practice of ‘stacking’, using multiple variants simultaneously based on their different effects and ‘cycling’, wherein the process is put through a cycle of a few weeks.