We begin the blog today with a quote from one of the literary masters:
BUCKY: (Swinging an imaginary sword) HA! YA! FA-TANG! FA-TANG! OLÉ! This movie rocks! I would be such an awesome gladiator! All I need is a good gladiator name!
ROB: How about “Gluteus Maximus”?
BUCKY: I like that.
ROB: Yeah. I thought you might.
SATCHEL: Oh, you totally look like a “Gluteus.”
BUCKY: Thank you.
When you ride, there are three places where you contact the bike: your hands, your feet and your…um…nether regions. Now, we certainly spend time thinking about gloves and shoes, but most riders I know spend a lot more time looking for a good chamois. (Just in case you don’t know, the chamois is the lovely thick pad inside a pair of cycling shorts that makes the saddle easier to bear.)
The question of regular shorts vs. bib shorts is one that generates some enthusiasm, but not as much as whether or not the shorts have a good chamois or not.
Then there is the question of chamois cream. Do you or don’t you? (Only your hairdresser knows for sure.) If you do, what kind? And how much? After all, sometimes friction is a bad thing.
These are vital questions to some people. Let’s face it, if you have some enforced time off the bike, it isn’t your hands and feet that are going to hurt when you start back riding again.
Steve’s advice to me when I first bought a road bike:
“About the saddle…”
“Tough it out.”
Along those same lines, check out Sheldon Brown’s “Real Man Saddles.”
Now, I am not saying that anyone should take the time to actually remember what you have read after reading the blog (it's your brain, do what you want with it) but if you do, then you may recall that, after some time off the bike, I managed to get quite a few rides in this last week. (Hooray for me!) This does have consequences of a gluteal nature. (In the interests of keeping things clean, we won't dwell on the nature of the consequences.) For this reason, I've been building up slowly to get myself reaccustomed to the pressures of the situation so to speak.
It's a small price to pay for the pleasures of riding, after all. Of course, sometimes I regret the fact that we have wooden stools to sit on at work instead of comfy chairs. There are things more uncomfortable than a bike saddle, you know.
Keith thought he had found the ideal solution the time he bought a woman specific saddle. (Being a biologist, I am aware that there are a few differences between the genders, but I still don't know what makes a saddle woman specific.)
I did learn a few things from Keith's experience, however. I learned that, according to Keith, that was both the most comfortable and the most uncomfortable saddle he had ever used. It was comfortable simply because it was comfortable. It was uncomfortable because there is a logo on the saddle that identifies it as a woman specific saddle and there are guys in the cycling club who can't resist the temptation to address the topic from time to time. Eventually, Keith abandoned the saddle for his own piece of mind.
Of course, after you've been riding for awhile, your nether regions do get used to it and stop hurting. (Unless you do the infamous double century - 200 miles in one day. I didn't want to sit down at all for a couple of days after that.)
Keep riding and it will all work out in the end, I suppose.
No, I really should apologize for that one, but it was just too obvious to pass up.
See you on the road.