A new international scale for measuring involuntary weeping when cycling

Every morning, without fail, within a minute or two of starting my cycle commute, my eyes start watering, and I look either like I’ve just had some incredibly traumatic news, or I’m having a St John of the Cross moment. I am not alone in this.

Many of the threads that address this issue (just google “watery eyes cycling“, and there’s a flood of them) suffer from the problem that there’s no common scale to describe the severity of the problem. For those with Sjögren’s syndrome, there’s the Schirmer Tear Test, but this is hard to implement in cycling conditions without endangering other road users.

I propose a new standard method for measuring the rate at which tears emerge when cycling:
OPM, or Osbornes Per Minute.

(From The Sun)

Single tear-track of UK Chancellor George Osborne

















Recording the number of single tear-tracks, or Osbornes, per minute (an interval that permits sufficient drying to distinguish between successive individual lacrimal secretions, and additionally a workable measure of acceleration or deceleration of the phenomenon) is relatively easy for an individual patient (“cyclist”), and, judging by early tests conducted over the past three mornings, the reliability of self-reported incidences is quite high.

[Full text of paper forthcoming*]

*Not actually forthcoming


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