Theologically and philosophically informed ecletic ruminations on everything between summit to shore, especially cycling, hiking and backpacking, kayaking, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology, politics, culture, travel, poetry, and creative writing by John Edward Harris, a progressive Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Minister of Word and Sacrament (now called "Teaching Elders").
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Spinning Wheels (Lessons from Two Years of Cycling): Be Kind to Your Behind
Two Examples of Cycling Shorts
first started riding again I wore standard cotton briefs and cotton shorts, or
in other words, street clothes. During and after my first ride, a short three
to four mile jaunt on a local lane, I felt fine. My second ride was a nineteen
mile excursion on a local paved rail trail. Not used to riding, I came home
with a sore butt (sit bone) and chaffed inner thighs. Eleven days later hit the
trail again but rode eleven miles. While my butt (sit bone) was not as sore and
my inner thighs were not as chaffed as they were following the nineteen mile
ride, were still sore.
Same Cycling Shorts as above Showing the Chamois
my next ride I bought a pair of cycling shorts. I once thought that cyclers who
wore biking shorts were simply making a fashion statement and giving into
advertising hype. I now know otherwise. Cycling shorts with a chamois can and
do make a big difference when riding longer distances.
pair of bike shorts, made by Navarra, which I purchased at REI, look more like
street clothes even though they have an attached chamois pad for comfort. They
also have pockets, belt loops, and a zipper. After riding in them a couple
times I was hooked. After two rides of over twenty miles and a ride of over
forty miles I came home without the sore sit bone and no inner thigh chaffing.
Some of the difference compared to earlier and shorter rides might be
attributed to me being in better shape but I also think the bike shorts with attached
chamois made a big difference.
eventually purchased more traditional tight fitting spandex biker shorts with
chamois, also by Novarra which I picked up on sale at REI. I usually wear them
when I am going out to do nothing but ride. I wear the biker shorts that look
more like street clothes when I am going out to ride but also engage in other
activities before returning home. Regardless of which pair I wear, I wash them
after every ride.
way I learned to cut down on saddle soreness was to get up off my saddle about
every mile starting with the first mile. Rather than waiting to feel any
discomfort or soreness before getting off the saddle I adopted the proactive
approach. About every mile, if I am on a level or slightly downhill ride, I
will shift into a lower gear and stand up on my pedals, straighten my legs, and
flex my leg and butt muscles. With good initial speed or on a slightly downhill
or level run I can stand up on my pedals and coast for up to two or even three
tenths of a mile. On a level or slightly inclined run I can coast for up to a
twentieth of a mile. If I am climbing a hill too steep to coast I will peddle
sanding up for a while to get off my sit bone. I have found that starting this
practice with the first mile delays the onset of tiredness and helps me ride
longer and farther when I do become tired. Here are links to previous posts in the series: