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CHARITYAK's Photo CHARITYAK SparkPoints: (15,426)
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7/1/14 10:20 P

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Looks like everyone already grabbed the good answers... :) Just wanted to add that our LBS allows one to borrow a demo saddle for several weeks. I have one on my road bike now that I'm giving a whirl. Used it for a recent 100K which gave it a darn good trial, Think I want to try the next narrower one... At more than $100 a pop, I don't want to have to buy 4 or 5 saddles until I find the right one. Check around and see if you can find a shop that will allow loaners.

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6/30/14 12:13 P

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I guess it's all relative. Right? Income vs. outflow. It's different for each one of us. But, in general, it's expensive to start up most sports.

I think we can all agree that the cost of smoking goes beyond dollars and cents. And quitting is priceless!

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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,886
6/30/14 11:42 A

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I know a person that quit smoking and drinking. They started cycling, they spend some money on cycling clothes. They save in the long run. Cost of drinking and smoking per year for them was $7540. They spend about $1000 on cycling clothes a year, ahead $6540 or the cost of a really nice bike, vacation, in a 3 years a new car......

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,986
6/30/14 10:51 A

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There's also the option of keeping it simple. For instance, I buy very little in the way of cycling clothing beyond my cycling shorts.

The other thing is once you've gotten most cycling stuff such as panniers or backpack, saddles, lights & such...you are good to go and replacements will be few and far between.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

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DMARTIN302's Photo DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (50,848)
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6/30/14 10:15 A

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Yes, cycling is expensive. However, there are some ways to make it less expensive.

First, keep your local bike shop (LBS) in business by buying some things there. Even if it's chamois cream, chain lube, and a water bottle every now and then, do try to keep money flowing into your favorite LBS! While you're there, check their clearance section.

That said, Google is your friend. You'll find some good deals on all kinds of things by searching for items. Amazon carries a number of items and it has a good return policy. Amazon is not always the cheapest, though, so look a little further down the Google search. There are some great cycling/triathlon shops that specialize in discounted, name-brand merchandise. Return policies vary greatly, so check the terms before you buy, especially with things like clothing and saddles, which require an individual fit.

Prefer shopping in brick-and-mortar? Aside from your LBS, there are big box stores that carry cycling gear. Many big box sporting good stores that are national or regional chains carry some budget items. The clothing is usually "entry level" and may not last long, but at least it gets you started until you can ask for higher quality shorts for your birthday, anniversary, or other gift-giving event. For something like a saddle, the most expensive thing on the market may be excruciating for you -- an inexpensive saddle may fit your anatomy perfectly, so it's worth a try at these stores. The saddle is likely even harder to fit than any clothing! The big box stores generally have a generous return policy, so you can try it out for a few weeks and return it (as long as it's in excellent condition, of course!). Once you find it, your saddle should last several thousand miles.

Some national discount clothing chains that do buyouts sometimes have cycling clothing. You may have a choice of one or two pairs of shorts or jerseys in your size, and you have to rifle through all of the active wear to find the random cycling gear, but it's worth checking into those places on a fairly regular basis, as inventory changes frequently. Also check in both the men's and women's sections on the wall and by the exercise equipment, as I've found gloves ($10), shoe covers ($19), ear warmers ($10), arm warmers ($15), top tube bags ($7), and other cycling gear at GREAT prices, usually saving 50-75% off of MSRP. Triathletes: I've found tank suits, goggles, and tri-shirts, tri-shorts, and tri-suits, too. Not to mention lots of general-purpose exercise gear and equipment. It's VERY hit-and-miss, you have to do a lot of digging because the stores have NO idea what this stuff is (looking at the shoe covers, the clerk asked where I found the golf-club covers!), so the shorts look just like yoga pants and are racked accordingly. Start looking about October-November and throughout the winter for the best summer clothes, and in March-April for the winter stuff.

I'm not sure of the policy of discussion/advertising names of stores on this forum, so I'm hesitant to name them by name. There are some good ways to save money on these items. However, if you spend a good deal of time at your LBS having them help you choose saddles, particularly if they're loaning them to you to try, don't save the $20 and buy it online. Do keep them in business!

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6/30/14 9:21 A

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I have to say that I think it's kind of sad that it's so darn expensive to get outfitted for almost any sport.

Golf? Forget it! You have to drop some pretty good coinage to swing a club.

Skiing? WOW! Very expensive sport! I always wanted to ski, but the expense scared me away. Also, it's a winter sport, unless you can afford to travel (ca-shing, ca-shing), so for the other 7-8 months of the year, you don't get to enjoy it.

There is, I'm sure, a long list of activities that don't require a fairly weighty investment, but bicycling isn't one of them. I discovered that I love bicycling, and it has been very beneficial for me. I can cycle outdoors almost 10 months of the year in my home state (as long as the roads are clear). So, to ride safely and more comfortably, I have come to terms with the expense. Though I don't have unlimited funds, I have spent a fair amount of money on my bicycle and the accompanying gear. I have had to forego some of my other hobbies, but it's worth it when I'm out on the road breathing the fresh air and challenging myself to go just one more mile.

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,986
6/29/14 10:50 P

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I sprung for a Brooks leather Flyer saddle earlier this year @ $100, am breaking 'er in...or is it the other way around? ;-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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6/29/14 10:26 P

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I checked that I am not swaying to reach the pedals. There is no way that I can drop that much money on a new seat...I am usually all about quality, but there is just no way I can afford that. I will definitely check the sports store (Dick's is right next to my work) about the shorts and chamois too.

I still have not adjusted my seat angle as I haven't ridden since posting last time. I had a couple more injections in my hip joint and haven't felt up to pushing myself yet. I do have plans to be out this week since I have 3 days off and will have extra time to make all the adjustments.

I noticed how sore my hands get, but I thought I was just leaning too much on the handles and try to sit up straighter and hold my stomach a bit tighter. I will have to get everything budgeted in, but will also check into padded gloves.

Tracy, Illinois, CST

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;

The result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
~The Dalai Lama


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SPEEDYDOG's Photo SPEEDYDOG Posts: 2,636
6/29/14 9:51 A

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I sure this has already been said - when you raised your saddle you took pressure from your pedals and transferred to your saddle. If your saddle is too high then you may be moving your body left and right trying to reach the pedals.

Some bike shops have a way to measure the width of your sitz bones. They have sit on a pad that leaves an impression. They can measure this impression to find the optimal saddle width for you. I am comfortable on a 143mm to 148mm width saddle. I prefer the WTB Speed V and Specialized Phenom saddles. I replaced the saddle on every bike I have bought. Stock saddles tend to be cheaply made.

There are saddles that are designed specifically for women. Some good saddles can be expensive. I drop between $80 to $150 on a new saddle. A saddle that is too wide or too narrow can hurt a lot!

Riding shorts with a chamois is a must. My road shorts have a thinner chamois than my mountain bike shorts. If you are riding on the road, road shorts are fine. I don't need to use any type of chamois butter.

I also wear padded cycling gloves. I like gloves with short fingers. Any part of your body that touches the bike needs to be padded.

Thanks, Bruce



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6/25/14 10:39 A

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"Hamburger HooHa"
Yep! That describes it....sadly!
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Tracy, Illinois, CST

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;

The result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
~The Dalai Lama


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DMARTIN302's Photo DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (50,848)
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6/25/14 8:45 A

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I'll add my agreement to the advice already given!

There's a time and place for saving a few bucks, but resist the temptation to save a few dollars buying low-end cycling shorts. Move up a notch or two to get a good chamois that won't break down after a few rides or shift around. The chamois always goes next to your skin (no undies), and chamois butter/A&D ointment/body glide helps a lot, too. Machine wash frequently without fabric softener and hang to dry as the softener and heat break down performance fabrics quickly. You'll find that a good pair of cycling bibs/shorts makes a big difference and they'll last a long time when cared for properly.

The saddle is also an important factor. My bike came with a flat, hard saddle. Let's just say it's not a good fit for MY anatomy. Your LBS can help you try out a number of saddles to find one that's just right for your shape. I found an inexpensive saddle on sale at Performance Bike that has a cutout and a weird shape, and it feels SO much better! It's just as hard as the other one, but the shape fits me much better. No more hamburger hooha! However, if that saddle is tipped just one tiny degree up or down, it's a lot less comfortable. Take your multitool with you on a ride and don't be afraid to make tiny adjustments every mile or so until it's comfortable. While some people swear by tipping the nose slightly down, others say go slightly up. If one side is chafed more than the other, you may find that shifting the nose slightly to the left or right may work. Find what works for you. If you can't make it work, try another saddle. Most bike shops have a good policy on trying/returning saddles.



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DMARTIN302's Photo DMARTIN302 SparkPoints: (50,848)
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6/25/14 8:44 A

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I'll add my agreement to the advice already given!

There's a time and place for saving a few bucks, but resist the temptation to save a few dollars buying low-end cycling shorts. Move up a notch or two to get a good chamois that won't break down after a few rides or shift around. The chamois always goes next to your skin (no undies), and chamois butter/A&D ointment/body glide helps a lot, too. Machine wash frequently without fabric softener and hang to dry as the softener and heat break down performance fabrics quickly. You'll find that a good pair of cycling bibs/shorts makes a big difference and they'll last a long time when cared for properly.

The saddle is also an important factor. My bike came with a flat, hard saddle. Let's just say it's not a good fit for MY anatomy. Your LBS can help you try out a number of saddles to find one that's just right for your shape. I found an inexpensive saddle on sale at Performance Bike that has a cutout and a weird shape, and it feels SO much better! It's just as hard as the other one, but the shape fits me much better. No more hamburger hooha! However, if that saddle is tipped just one tiny degree up or down, it's a lot less comfortable. Take your multitool with you on a ride and don't be afraid to make tiny adjustments every mile or so until it's comfortable. While some people swear by tipping the nose slightly down, others say go slightly up. If one side is chafed more than the other, you may find that shifting the nose slightly to the left or right may work. Find what works for you. If you can't make it work, try another saddle. Most bike shops have a good policy on trying/returning saddles.



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6/24/14 9:15 P

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Busse woods is right by my work, my goal is to be able to bike to my work by Autumn. I should be able to make it, it is only 10 miles, so Busse woods is maybe another mile on top of that. Its a beautiful drive also.

Tracy, Illinois, CST

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;

The result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
~The Dalai Lama


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6/24/14 9:12 P

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No, I am not too far out of WI, but I don't have a car or a way to transport my bike up there...on the rare occasions that I use my sisters car to visit my other sister in WI, her car is a Kia and no bike rack.

I will keep it bookmarked though for in the future!

Tracy, Illinois, CST

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;

The result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
~The Dalai Lama


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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,886
6/24/14 2:24 P

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Tracy,

You are not that far from WI. Check out the Glacial Drumlin trail. It will feel good on your bottom.

I've been to Busse Woods.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacial_Drumli
n_
State_Trail


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6/24/14 1:40 P

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OMG thank you everyone! I was pretty embarrassed to post all of that!
I will definitely start using all those suggestions until I find a fix!

Tracy, Illinois, CST

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;

The result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
~The Dalai Lama


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HILLSLUG98239's Photo HILLSLUG98239 SparkPoints: (35,522)
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6/24/14 12:54 P

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The primary purpose of the chamois was to prevent chafing. I lovingly refer to my Pearl Izumi Ultrasensors as Pampers Izumi because the pad is so ridiculous thick.

I used Bag Balm as a chamois butter for years. It is petrolatum-based, though. What I liked about it was it is cheap and it has anti-microbial properties. I'd rub anywhere skin could rub on skin, and it made a world of difference. On the down side, you will end up smelling like a dairy farmer.

I agree with the suggestions you play around with the position of the saddle. Make small changes, though. And a narrower saddle is a lot more comfortable.

I have an almost-brutal saddle on my mountain bike. It has minimal padding. I got it for free at a yard sale a dozen years ago. I love the thing. Off-road, I'm not sitting in the saddle as much anyway, and I "float" more when I am seated. But it has opened my eyes to the idea that less is sometimes more when it comes to cushiness.

Ah, cyclists: we can carry on discussions about our nether regions with total strangers and think nothing of it. You know you've arrived when you start to drop trou in the office to show off some road rash.

Love God. Love your neighbor. Change the world. It really is that simple.



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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,986
6/24/14 12:07 P

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Much agreed on the need to avoid any more padding than what our bike shorts offer.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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BARRONVC's Photo BARRONVC Posts: 1,886
6/24/14 10:38 A

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I might be too old school for this discussion.

I remember plastic seats in the late 60's on the Gitane Tour de France and wool shorts with a tiny bit of Chamois. Was probably cut thinner than paper. No padding. I did plenty of riding, racing, distances, and at times the giblets were abused. At that time we didn't have the technology to care for them like we do now. A&D was the 1st great advance. The other option was seeing the Dr for crotch rot prescription cream. I have stories but will spare your ears. Get educated, try things and if it doesn't work, try something else until you find something that does work. That is what training rides are for.

Hygiene, body position, cycling form, saddle fit/position, type of shorts/bibs and Chamois, no undies, saddle relief for certain areas yet support for your undercarriage, and consider intensity, duration, and frequency when working up to your goals.

For me too much padding is a bad thing. The extra padding can grow teeth and start chewing on you. At time the gel can build heat. Find something that works and purchase 5 shorts/bibs. In a year or two you won't find them and have to go back to trial and error all over again.





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6/24/14 9:41 A

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Let's face it...we're cyclists, and this is a common problem among cyclists. Crotch irritation can really make a difference in a good ride and a very miserable ride, as you all know. There are several causes, some of which can be alleviated with products designed specifically for this. The link below is to Team Estrogen's website, which is where I buy much of my cycling gear, but is only a suggestion here. The link will take you right to their "gear" page, where you will find products like "Chamois Butt'r," "Body Glide," and "Chamois Glide." I use both Chamois Butt'r and Body Glide (not always at the same time) to prevent against chafing and irritation. Chamois Butt'r is a product that you apply directly to the chamois of your cycling shorts/pants, and Body Glide is intended to be applied directly to your body. Here's what Chamois Butt'r says about their products made specially for women:

"...aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, tea tree oil, shea butter & lavender oil for their naturally occurring beneficial properties. All Chamois Butt’r® products are safe for women & men, but Her’™ is pH balanced for women. Tested for over a year, introduced for sale April 2013."

Both Chamois Butt'r and Body Glide help reduce friction, which is the actual cause of irritation. I avoid the use of petroleum jelly (no offense, Don) on my body (anywhere), because it is manufactured from...well...petroleum. In the end (no pun intended), it can actually dry and irritate skin.

http://www.teamestrogen.com/product/gear
/c0-c60.html

As many have mentioned, your saddle placement is critical to your enjoyment of cycling. I highly recommend a visit to your local bike shop where they can help you figure out where your saddle should be. Yeah, it's awkward, but once you're fitted, you will likely see a huge difference in your riding comfort.

Also, I am an advocate for a smaller, more firm saddle...and, yes, my behind is big. According to my LBS guy, a larger saddle causes more friction in the crotch area, whereas a smaller, more firm saddle does what it's supposed to do...provide a place for our sit bones. Our butts can be big, but our sit bones are not.

I always wear padded cycling-specific shorts/pants/capris. I couldn't cycle more than a few miles without wearing padded shorts. Padded shorts, as someone mentioned, are meant to be worn without underwear. It is recommended that cycling shorts be washed (warm/cold water, no bleach, air dry) after every ride, but at LEAST after every 2 rides. If you use an anti-chafing product, you should wash them after each ride.

And finally, yes, you will build up a tolerance - and even callouses - to the chafing, especially if your saddle is well-placed.

Good luck and comfy cycling!
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Edited by: GARRIE1 at: 6/24/2014 (09:55)
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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 23,986
6/24/14 8:28 A

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After FINALLY getting on the bike again for the first time this year I found myself a bit "tender" also and remembered my hedge against this problem: a dab of petroleum jelly before riding does wonders to avoid this problem.

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

rules4humans.com


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PERRYR's Photo PERRYR Posts: 670
6/24/14 7:12 A

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I wonder about the saddle itself.
They make saddles with a cutout along the length to relieve pressure on that area.
It's also possible that the horizontal angle of the saddle is wrong. If it's tipped up a bit you'll really suffer.

MOTIVATED@LAST's Photo MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,274
6/24/14 6:48 A

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Lifting the seat height may also have changed your posture and the seat/handlebar distance. You may want to experiment with adjusting the seat backwards or forwards to find a more comfortable position.

Cycle shorts are designed not to have seams in places likely to chafe. And they are also intended to be worn without underwear, as this reintroduces seams.

M@L

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


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6/23/14 11:54 P

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Apologies in advance.....


A couple of weeks ago, I adjusted my seat up to get a full extension on my legs, it made a world of difference for my knees, but now I am having another issue.

After adjusting my seat, I did 4 miles or so ....I know this isn't much for you pros, but its a long way for me! I noticed that my ...hooha..was pretty sore, so I went out the next day and did 6 miles, because I'm smart that way, lol!
I was having to stand up on the pedals and try to readjust myself on the seat because I was really starting to hurt. After I got home and stripped down before a shower, I noticed I was bleeding...I was pretty raw and it stung a LOT.
I stayed off the bike for two weeks and went out for the first time tonight....I was ready to come back after a couple of miles and by the time I gave in (at 4 miles), I was standing on the pedals quite a bit and trying to find a comfortable spot to sit.

Its not as bad as a couple of weeks ago, but what is the deal with this? Do I just need to build up a tolerance like....will the skin toughen up there? Or is it because I am losing weight and have more folds around my inner thighs/groin area (I am not terribly sweaty after just a couple of miles)? Or do I need to go buy a skinnier seat which I am afraid will get lodged in places better not mentioned? I liked this seat because it is pretty wide...like my butt, lol, and I can actually sit on my sit bones on it.
Or is there some weird trick of the trade that I am not aware of? Do I go without undies or buy special biking ones or what?

Tracy, Illinois, CST

Man sacrifices his health in order to make money.

Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.

And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;

The result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
~The Dalai Lama


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