Monthly Archives: September 2012

My butt hurts!

When I talk to non-cyclists about my longer road rides, I usually get comments along the lines of, “Oh, I bet your tush will be sore!” “My butt hurts just thinking about it!” Etc.

Truth is, even after my longest rides of 85 miles, my butt did not hurt. I was tired, sure. And perhaps my legs were fatigued or even hurt. But my butt? Never!

I am a firm believe that if riding a bike makes your butt or your crotch hurt, your bike is not set up correctly. DO NOT run out to buy (a) a new saddle, (b) a gel saddle cover, or (c) padded cycling shorts. FIRST, hie thee to the local bike shop and get one of the experts to evaluate your seat height, position, angle. (After this step is done, you may commence with shopping.)

I strongly suspect that many women who haven’t ridden a bike in a long time start out with the saddle TOO LOW because it feels less precarious and you can put both feet flat on the ground while still sitting on the saddle. However, if your saddle is too low you won’t put as much of your weight on your legs…and therefore your weight is almost entirely on the saddle.

If the seat is at the correct height FOR YOUR BODY, you will have most of your weight on your sit bones, some on the pedals, and a little bit on the handlebars.

Here are a few useful links to help you figure out how to be kind to your butt:

Sheldon Brown’s tips for a comfortable ride

Proper Bike Fit Can Prevent Pain and Injury

More on euphoria

I read with interest Mark Sisson’s recent post about intermittent euphoria on Mark’s Daily Apple.  This paragraph, in particular, resonates with me, especially in light of my post “Doctor, Should I Be Concerned?”:

“Then there [are] the effects euphoric experiences can have on the big picture of our lives. IE has the power to psychologically fortify us. As research confirms, it builds our personal resilience. We create a reserve of joy, of rejuvenation, of perspective with which to bounce back from adversity. True euphoria doesn’t simply up the ante for future thrills: it sharpens our whole perception and perhaps appreciation of experience. When we let it, IE can sensitize us to the wonders – both joyful and fearsome – in our daily existence. It can also inspire us to offer more energy, creativity, and novelty to our relationships. Having expanded our personal dimensions, we bring more vigor and vitality to life.”

Lately I have been sensing that riding a bike is becoming more and more infused into how I do things on a daily basis, and becoming more of who I am. And I have connected this with the fact that I experience moments of euphoria while I’m riding–it’s positive reinforcement.  So, Mark’s post made a lot of sense to me, and validates what I see happening in my life.