Please be seated

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin.

Strava Cycle Ride 21st May 2016

Now that I have stopped crying and moaning about the brutal attack on my lady bits from my new bike seat, ‘This Fadge Is On Fire‘ I now feel able to speak about it without using profanities that my mother would most certainly disapprove of.

We all get a little sore if we don’t cycle regularly and if we’re only going out every now and then we don’t generally think about how much padding our saddle has or pulling on a pair of cycling short.

When I decided about 15 years ago to do a sponsored cycle for NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society) I saved up and bought a bike (it was only cheap but it was enough for me spend) and some cycle shorts. It was that long ago I don’t remember if I had any serious injury to my lady parts but I do remember my backside feeling bruised and battered due to not being used to cycling. I would class this as general ‘bedding your bum in to cycling’ pain.

I did the NDCS ride and was ok, bit of bruising, no chaffing BUT I had ridden with knickers on.

It was about a year later that our little group was formed and we did our first C2C (which of course I didn’t complete). I was kept being told ‘you don’t ride with underwear on’ so very reluctantly I went knickerless and boy did I know it!! And ever since then I have always cycled with 3 layers…. Knickers, undershorts and cycling shorts and I have been absolutely FINE!!! ….Until my new saddle attacked me!!..

BUT will be worth it
Face shows reality of a new saddle!

It didn’t go unheard
My whinging and moaning didn’t go unheard. A wonderful lady cyclist, Sileas Monroe who follows my blog, has offered me lots of invaluable advice and techniques for getting into cycling and making things a little easier on my ‘lady bits’. She is a mind of brilliant information (she should write a book if she hasn’t already!).

BUT her help hasn’t stopped there. This wonderful and generous lady has offered me her saddle! She told me all about the saddle Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow and what a good quality make it is and not only she but a lot of her lady cyclist friends also use this saddle in one form or another. Hey, if it’s good enough for ‘proper’ cyclists it’s more than good enough for me. Brian Rourkes Cycles and Adrian Timmis owner at Cadence Sport both recommend the saddle.

In no time at all the wonderful Sileas had packed and posted the saddle so it arrived on Saturday giving me time to get used to it before we do the C2C this coming Saturday.

Thank you Sileas for the kindness you have shown me and for such a generous gift. I will endeavour to make myself worthy of such a supreme saddle.

BUT will be worth it
Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow Saddle

Stripped naked
I knew the day would come and so too did my ‘old trusty steed’ and Saturday was that day. With a guilt laden heart, I began to slowly remove my trusty steeds’ accessories until she was as naked as the day she was bought.
First the water bottles and cages, then the spd’s (pedals), the saddle bag, then the speedo and then the most gut wrenching of all ….. the bell …… weep, weep!

My poor dedicated bike… I had to take the bell, I had to!…. it’s been with me from the very beginning and I feel as my ‘trusty steed’ does now, naked without it.

All set
Saturday was showers all day but as we were setting off the sun appeared. I don’t mind if it rains whilst out riding I just prefer not to start in the rain (don’t know why, you get wet either way).

With the C2C fast approaching we went for the hills. It’s a route that Jay has taken me on before and one I did part of on 19th May. It just keeps going UP!! And for someone that just likes to keep going down it’s a blinking toil. BUT ‘The going up was worth the coming down’ (Kris Kristofferson song).

We stopped quite a few times so I could keep adjusting the new saddle. Seat post down, saddle forward, tilt up, tilt down. It’s just a case of trial and error until you feel comfortable.
I was still sore from my initial lady bits injury so the new saddle didn’t feel perfect but it did feel much, much better than the saddle that came with the bike.

BUT will be worth it
Emley Moor Cycling in the Wet

I have been trying to think about how I sit on the bike, how I push down on the pedals, change gear, breath! I am sucking up so much information at the moment I’m like a sponge….. don’t hunch your shoulders, get your belly off your knees (use stomach muscles!), push through your leg not with your knee. It’s not as easy as you think this cycling malarkey!!!

Whatever the Weather
It had showered all day but we had been lucky up to 9 miles in when the heavens opened, even I put my rain jacket on. Being unfit and overweight I overheat very quickly so I don’t normally wear anything other than cycling top and shorts, unless I really have to. The jacket went on but the sleeves were rolled up.

We climbed and climbed. I do have to say that I did find it easier than on previous occasions, NOT that it was easy! Jay had paced Seppe and me well and I think we were both doing ok.

You got to give it to the lad, Jay likes his pace (hell for leather) and finds it frustrating when riding at someone else’s slow pace but he did it and was encouraging all the way. He only left us when we told him to, a few miles from home.

We climbed all the way to Emley Moor Mast and took a breather but instantly I began to feel cold. I hadn’t realised until then just how wet I was. Jay had given me 2 of his old cycling jackets, one windproof, one waterproof, I was obviously NOT wearing the waterproof.

BUT will be worth it
Emley Moor Cycle Ride

I was feeling a little more confident with my bike handling skills but was still very cagey in the wet when downhill cornering but I stayed up right with no major twitching of the bars.

As I said earlier the going up was certainly worth the coming down even on a rainy day. The scenery is stunning. I will have to ride it again when I’m not concentrating as much on the actions of cycling and take some pictures. Or better still get yourselves over yonder and see for yourself.

It wasn’t until we had our miles of downhill that I realised how full of water my summer cycling shoes were. The cold wind blowing through the mesh on the front of my shoes cooled the rain water and my toes began to get a little chillier with every mile of decent. They soon warmed up again on the flat.

Brilliant Ride
I moved around a lot on the saddle trying to get comfy. It is a very comfortable saddle but because of my soars I didn’t reep it’s full benefit. All I know is that if I still had the original seat on that came with the bike I wouldn’t have been cycling the past couple of days! Thank you Sileas.

BUT will be worth it
I love my new Selle Italia Saddle

I was soar but didn’t mind (too much), I was wet and really didn’t mind at all, Jay paced Seppe and I just right, beautiful scenery, more confident with bike handling, cleats are back on……. Loved it!!

I had a sunny feeling inside all the way (well most of the way). I’m grateful for my wonderful birthday bike, grateful for such a generous gift of a saddle, grateful for Ginner and Jay taking me out and their advice.

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support.
Wear your helmet and cycle safe
Jo x

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