Bicycle Touring without pain or “hot spots”
Now that we have completed the first half of the Big Ride Across America and are at the 1800-mile point, I cannot believe how comfortable I am every single day. No sore butt, no need for chamois cream, no hot spots on my body. I am incredibly comfy…why?
1. My Bike Shorts These Aero Tech Elite shorts are amazing. I do not have any need for chamois cream–in fact I gave it away.
The bike shorts from Aero Tech Designs are the best shorts I have ever worn. The grey Elite chamois pad is a carbon fiber with silver ion threads, which prevent bacteria from building up on the shorts (bacteria is a major cause of saddle sores). The pad has engineered layers of padding that put different densities of thick and thin padding where needed. The shorts fit snugly, holding the Elite chamois tight to the skin so there is no bunching. There are no seams anywhere in the rub zones, thus removing all opportunities for abrasion.
2. My Saddle
The saddle is a gel-filled seat that is designed for women. A woman has wider ischial bones than men, so naturally a well-designed women’s saddle would have a wider area for these “sit” bones to rest. There are gel inserts at the exact location where the bones rest. Between the gel saddle absorbing shock, and the Aero Tech Women’s Cycling Shorts smoothing out the abrasion issues, the comfort is amazing. Since I am an old lady, this wider saddle with gel inserts is the perfect complement to my bike shorts.
3. My Upright Position on the Pedego Interceptor bike
The upright position…different? Yes, but amazing. I have been a bicycle geek all of my life. I love cycling and am a former racer. So, for most of my life I held the tightly regarded “racer position” for all of my bikes. I rode for years in the aerodynamic dropped positon. This is how a serious biker should look and any departure from the “look” means you are not a serious cyclist. All serious cyclists have that look…dropped down.
If you don’t have to fit the mold, I recommend the upright position. Again, since I am older, I do not succumb to the peer pressure to fit the “serious cyclist mold” any longer because I don’t care about all that tradition. I am in it for the JOY and nothing more. I ride upright and I love it!
No more Neck Pain – Previously in the dropped position, I would get a serious hot spot on the back of my neck, that started to burn after about 35-40 miles, from keeping my head cocked up to see the road. I do not have that hot spot in the back of my neck now. This painful cycling issue is completely eliminated by riding in an upright position. I just love the Pedego Interceptor for the way it fits my body. My neck is completely pain free–even after 100 miles!!!
No more Numb Hands – I used to have numb hands after riding long distances. The upright position has taken all of the weight off of my hands and the median nerve. I wear Aero Tech gel padded cycling gloves, which also help to reduce the vibration on my hands. Previously, this discomfort would cause serious, numbing hand pain when riding in the dropped position. In the upright position on the Pedego, I have ZERO numbness in my hands.
No more sore butt – The upright position puts all the weight of my body exactly on the ischial bones (where nature intended). The gel saddle and the excellent Aero Tech Elite bike shorts have eliminated all aspects of the sore butt. It is truly an amazing contrast to previous tours where I rode in the traditional “dropped” cycling position. My butt is perfectly comfortable–every day!
4. My Visibility is high so I feel safe.
My clothing from Aero Tech Designs Custom is fluorescent yellow which is the most visible color for motorists. The jerseys have two 3M reflective tabs sewn into the back pocket. I have two different fabrics that I have been using: one is the Coolmax branded polyester and the other is the Aero Tech Standard Wick-Away material. I prefer the Aero Tech fabric; it is very breathable and feels cottony soft next to the skin.
My Lights – I use a white blinking headlight and red blinking tail light for the entire time we are riding.
My Bike – The fluorescent orange paint on the Pedego Interceptor is amazing. I get so many complements on the bicycle because it is beautiful, and different. Just one look at the bike excites people, especially young boys who often shout “nice bike” as I pass by. I added the orange Ortlieb panniers to carry extra battery power for the Pedego electric bike.
5. The Ride Organizer – VeloSante – The Big Ride Across America is enhanced greatly by great product choices, outstanding food for energy and a well-planned route. The food served for the Big Riders is sensible, well-planned and delicious. The route each day is carefully planned in advance and we are given a cue sheet with the day’s directions. There is about 20 miles between rest stops where there is plenty of water, isotonic drinks, high-end food and snacks. The routes are safe and there is a tightly orchestrated daily routine to keep all riders on the road with support and sag services. It is really nice to have all our luggage and supply needs cared for by an outstanding team of people.
The bottom line is that comfort rules when you are bicycle touring. We are seeking more joy in our lives and I cannot find anything negative about this experience. I am riding each day with utmost regard for our planet Earth and the people we meet. Every day I open my eyes, I thank God that I am alive and healthy enough to experience this dream come true. Riding Longer. Feeling Stronger.