A couple of weeks ago I was out for lunch with my kids and one of my son's friends, who also happens to be the awesome guy who does my bike maintenance and repairs. He has ridden his bike all the way across the country. I was sharing some of the challenges I want to meet (as shared over at my other blog on my dreams for 2012), but bemoaning the problem of overcoming uhhhhh "bike seat pain." He just smiled, calling it "saddle sores" and told me to get some Chamois Butt'r and use it liberally. At that point in the conversation, I realized this nice kid young enough to be my son was advising me on properly lubing my uhhhh bike seat area for the ride and I just kind of died of embarrassment and changed the subject (I'll bet YOU never get yourself into these situations!)
I follow a Chicago bike email list related to the Critical Mass. I didn't unsubscribe when I left Chicago, partly because I hope to continue riding the Mass from time to time, and partly because I learn so much from the posts that go up daily. Cyclists share practical biking tips along with all sorts of activist news and such. Today someone who commutes via bike pretty much every day of her life shared news (amidst a bike seat pain related thread that was mostly men talking, aptly named "Cycling or Erections?") that should dramatically increase the limits of how far I can ride - she shared about the Hobson Easy Seat. Check it out:
I know, I know, I JUST GOT a new seat. But that one is for Lulu (and for the record, it made a real difference in my comfort level.) Lulu (my cruiser) is only a reasonable choice for my shorter rides, as in anything under about 25 miles. Wilma (my road bike) is much better equipped for longer trips, for myriad of reasons I think I've already shared here awhile back.
I've been wondering how I'm ever going to ride longer than 50 miles. While I have vaguely mentioned the woes of "bike seat pain" here, perhaps I haven't made the acuteness of this issue clear (mostly due to dying of embarrassment every time I try to discuss it!) While a little 10 mile ride isn't much of a problem, on an *ordinary* bike ride day for me of, say, 20 miles, I come home sore from the seat. Having avoided outdoor potties for the duration of the ride, I hurry in and as soon as I get to the restroom (where one can't help but sort of uhhhh "add salt to the wound")...YIKES the pain of the damage inflicted by the saddle generally makes me holler a little bit. And then I can't bear to sit on a bike seat for a couple of days.
That's gonna be a problem, if I bike 60 miles with my JPUSA friend to Mississippi Palisades Park. It's gonna mean I'll need maybe a couple of days of camping to recover enough to venture the ride home. And how to do a century ride and still be able to walk afterward is really a question on my mind.
The 54 mile ride I did...oh BABY. The involuntary restroom yell was rather more "top volume" than usual. And even showering after that made me yell. Um. Several times! And it made jeans just too uncomfortable to bear for a day or two.
The thing is, to some degree a person can "toughen up" with persistent rides. But...uhhh...there are some areas one would rather not exactly be *tough* if you know what I mean. Not that it makes a difference in my life right now...but there's always the possibility that it COULD matter someday!
So I'm excited about this Easy-Seat thing. Maybe it'll work and maybe it won't....I've read that some people find it harder to balance without the nose of the seat between their legs. So I'll hold on to the seat I have, just in case it doesn't work out.
But this payday...I'm ordering one!