Thursday, April 26, 2012

New stuff!

Have I mentioned how much pain my bike seat causes me? If I haven't adequately conveyed that yet, then I have been derelict in my duties as a writer. I am actually pretty good with pain and even with discomfort. My mom made me sleep in curlers for special occasions when I was a kid ("it hurts to be beautiful" was her catch-phrase), and I didn't like it but I could handle it. I am talking about those brush curlers, remember those?

Yeah, those. Imagine straddling/sitting on a pile of those for a few hours, okay? That's what I'm talking about here when I say "discomfort".

And here's the problem with the world of cycling: everyone tells you it will hurt, everyone says you'll get used to it. Everyone says to give it time, it takes time to break a saddle in. But no one can ever say when you should just give up on a bike seat. How long do you break in a saddle before giving it up as wrong-for-you? I have gotten answers that range from "after about 100 miles of riding" to "three years". and various points in between. So here's my entirely uneducated, non-professional answer: when it's nothing but pain from start to finish, and it doesn't get better after a few (three or four) rides, get rid of the damn thing.

On every single ride - EVERY SINGLE ONE - when I get to the finish line, all I want to do is to get my bike off of me, jump up and down on it, and stomp away. I never want to see it again. All the flesh from about my tailbone to my pubis feels like it's gone several rounds with Rocky Balboa. I cannot handle it anymore.

So I bought a new seat, despite my aversion to spending more money on bike stuff. It was like $34-ish, so not a huge deal. Worth every penny if it works. Here is what it looks like:

I have no idea if it will feel better. I had it put on about 4 miles from home, so I rode on it for not long at all. It feels cushier. And a little bigger. But that's about all I can say right now.

Anybody want an old-to-me (but not exactly "old") bike saddle? If not, I think I might just ritually burn the old one. Perhaps I will turn it into a fundraising event: charge for marshmallows to toast over the flames.

Speaking of Stuff I Have Bought, I am writing to you from a new computer. Look, here is an awesome picture that is so totally informative:

This is not bike-related, but what the heck. It was a major new aquisition. No, I don't have the money for it. But I do have renter's insurance, so it works out. Some jerkwads stole my old one (burglary - yes freaky, no not freaked out, yes everyone's fine, the end), so hey look new computer. It's quite a nice upgrade, I must say.

But back to bike-related new things. Like my helmet:

It is black, and matte, and boring. BORING. But I wanted a Bern because :
1. I love the visor, keeps out the sun and some wind and probably rain too.
2. I love that the visor is removable - just a few bits of velcro and a couple of snaps.
3. I love the winter knit that you can snap in when the weather turns cold. Awesome JC Lind guy let me try the one he had in the store and it is wonderfully warm. I don't have to worry about finding a super-warm hat with ear-flaps to fit under the helmet.



It's so soul-crushingly boring. Look at that yawn-fest. Boring black matte. Not to mention that these days I'm almost always wearing my black jacket, so this is like the worst example of a biker neglecting the high-visibility imperative. The white one was at least... well, white. Which is, you know - not prone to blending in with the dark.

Right, so, obviously I had to fix that. So I found these:

These are little reflective stickers.  Which I have slapped all over my boring black helmet, to add color and fun and personality. BECAUSE I AM A GIRL, OKAY? I love the finished result but I just realized that I left my helmet down with my bike and I am not going down to take a picture of it right now. Sorry, I am just too tired and I have tons of leg stretches I have to do. (This is my new thing - to be Stretching McStretcherson, with all my diligent stretching, in the hopes of avoiding more leg cramps.)

Tomorrow should be sunny so I'll take pictures of my new helmet and my commute. How's that? It's a deal.

Also, my charley-horsed leg is fine now.  It was a little sore Monday but the pain was all gone by Tuesday, so no worries. Well, not exactly right - I worry. Hence the stretching. Which I need to go do now, so bye!

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