Doctors at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center have diagnosed the first recorded case of a disorder they call “Bicycle-related hypochondria” or “Bi-pochondria.” According to a report released by the center, sufferers become fixated on the idea that their bicycle is continually beset by imaginary hardships.
On Monday, web developer Alex Gunderson of Wallingford became the first cyclist officially diagnosed with the disorder, but physicians suspect there are hundreds of bi-pochondriacs in the Puget Sound Region alone.
Sources say Gunderson first began presenting symptoms in the fall after installing fenders on his commuter.
“Do you hear that? That little thuk-thuk-thuk sound? Gotta be rubbing,” he complained to anyone who would listen. But despite Gunderson’s insistence, officemates, loved ones and a slew of bike mechanics couldn’t replicate any of the bike’s dozen or so supposed issues.
As winter rolled on, Gunderson’s obsession grew.
“It would be 3 o’clock in the morning, and he’d be in the garage lubing his chain and muttering about grit,” said Gunderson’s spouse, Amanda. “And all he would talk about was how important it is to ‘shave grams,’ whatever that means.”
Symptoms of bi-pochondria include:
- Persistent complaints of headwinds going both directions
- Delusions of black ice in summer months
- Imagined squeaks, hums and other rhythmic noises
- Going on and on about the littlest stuff, like, all the time. Geez.