Today, I learnt a lot. All in a good way, thankfully. Where do I start…
OK, I’ll start with the rear-end (aka my arse) issues that I had about 10 days ago. I put a lot of investigation into why my butt was hurting me so much during a long ride, and had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t sitting on my seat correctly. A lot of things have transpired in the past 10 days.
First, as previously mentioned, I discovered about the “sit bones” and why they are important. This was useful mainly so that I knew what I should be aiming to have in contact with my seat, and also I discovered that you can have different bits of your sit bones taking the weight on your seat, hence you move around every so often to prevent getting sore.
Next, I pushed my seat forward about an inch, which was about the amount that I was sitting too far forward, and I figured that professional bike-fit or not, if I wasn’t comfortable sitting in the position that said pro bike-fit set the bike up in, then I should just change it to something more comfortable.
Finally, I then compared the position of the seat to that of my commuter bike which I’ve never had a problem on, and discovered that the seat on my Cervélo was angled incorrectly, i.e. it wasn’t flat, and was instead pointing up into the air. I therefore spent about 20 minutes learning how to adjust the seat (easy when you know how), to get it identical to my commuter (as far as I can see).
I then went out for a ~50 mile ride this morning with a little trepidation, to see how my arse would cope. I concentrated on making sure that I was sitting on the right bit of the seat, but in fairness as the ride went on, I needed to do that less and less, most likely because I was now sitting on the right bit of the seat due to it being in the “right” place (as far as my normal sitting position is with my commuter). Hey presto, I get home and my arse didn’t even realised I’d been sitting on a bike.
What else did I learn? Well, another couple of things.
Chamois crème, and underpants, and bib shorts. Two of these things you need, one of them you want to avoid. I have used bib shorts a few times now, but hadn’t realised that you should not have your underwear on. So, I tried it today and was a little concerned that my, erm, “bits” were going to be… under-restrained. As in, all over the place. However, this wasn’t the case at all. The shorts held my junk just fine (lovely topic, eh?). In addition, I also discovered the wonder of chamois crème and how to use it. I whacked it on this morning, and it did indeed feel nice and cool. Now, do note that I’ve not yet had any friction issues “down there” in the past – but I’d rather not start, and if I’m going to go “au naturale” without the underwear, then the crème is going to be useful for that anyway.
Finally, riding with someone else. The one time I’ve been out with a group ride, I didn’t really feel that it was helping in terms of reducing wind resistance, but I think that was because the group was going quite slowly that day. Today, I happened to come across and thereafter ride with another roadie for about 3 miles, and we took it in turns to lead, and holy crap what a difference it made when I was drafting; I was literally coasting along in a really high gear without having to put any effort in at all. It was fantastic!
Many lessons; a good day.