Monday, August 20, 2012

Cham-Wow - Take it in the Shorts

This post goes hand in hand with You Betta Butta in terms of protecting your goodies. Shorts are important in two major ways:
1) wicking away moisture to keep you cool and dry while riding
2) having additional cushion protection for longer rides (known as the Chamois)

The Guy Version
All shorts are not created equal... lets be clear about that! I scrimped on my first set of riding shorts and you can to, but eventually you will notice that you need some extra help... and you'll fork out the bucks like I did. If you're just puttering around, then its ok to save on some shorts... just don't go without.

I think this is the better view :)
I know you think it's silly to wear those skin tight shorts (I'm talking to you guys)... but there is a method to the madness. Wicking is important or you will end up stewing in your own juices. The higher the performance, the faster and more efficient the moisture is removed from your body allowing for better overall cooling. Cool is always better and dry is important to reduce saddle soreness or chaffing of any kind. Aside from wicking qualities, inside the short hides the secret! The Chamois:

Women's Chamois
Mens Chamois

Note that padding is VERY different for men vs women. Also note the descriptions are different - the women's for intermediate use and the mens for pro use. The more often you hit the saddle, the higher level chamois short you want to invest in. Even if you can only afford one pair, you can hand wash and air dry for each ride. I use the speed wash on my washing machine for these and always air dry.

I finally invested in some Pro shorts, the brand isn't important... what you need to know is that the cut, fit, materials are different between brands and you should figure out which ones are right for you. To be honest, I haven't found the perfect fit for me yet... I do know I need to stick with pro performance chamois and wicking... but the brand of fit is still up in the air.

Some of the popular brands you'll need to check out:

Pearl Izumi
Louis Garneau
Primal Wear

Make sure you purchase shorts for your sex (Male/Female) or you will feel really weird under "there"... just sayin.

Bibs look like this:
Men like these and they do help with fit and form... but women folks have to go further to undress for potty breaks in these. You know what I mean... don't get it twisted, they do make these for women too! I'm trying to get a set... hoping I don't have to potty on the side of the road.

In the end, your end that is...your body will tell you that you need some help... you can stumble into the store and say "help, my ass hurts" or... you can say "Can you show me your selection of cycling shorts for men/women with pro performance chamois?" It's totally up to you!

Once you have your shorts... try not to drown them in water when your hot because you think it will cool you off. Think of what its like to sit around in a wet diaper... oooo, yeah... sound good? Then go ahead and drown your shorts, genius.

Oh, and for goodness sakes don't wear these!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You Betta Butta

When I first started on the bike I didn't go far enough to even discuss cream for my undercarriage... I mean seriously! When you're huffing and puffing to make 10 miles at a time, you don't sweat enough to get chaffed.

Then one day... when I was riding 40 miles in a day, I was like "ouch, what the (insert favorite word here) is that?" So, I went down to my favorite store to see what it was all about and found out it was called "saddle sore"... hmmm, now I'm riding on a saddle? I do some group rides with guys who are 70 (age) plus... and they were like "You betta butta kid"... ok, now I know what's wrong... what product was right for me?

First I thought "let me try the gal product"... and besides, it's got a cool name:
This cream actually has some kind of menthol base and I felt like my muffin was all tingly... I just didn't get it and it didn't seem to help with my saddle soreness. Sigh... so, my dealer gave me a sample of the guys standard:

It was better than the first, but still wasn't doing the trick completely... there was another one on the market that everyone raves about... the gold, I shelled out the bucks (it aint cheap!)... but hey man... were talking about my junk here (and yours) so I'm not gonna scrimp on my muffin... (that's my story and I'm sticking to it)

 First use and it was like magic trumpets sounded under me... it was like fireworks went off (in a good way). Now I know which one works for me.... but I'm not selling this product, I'm telling you to try them for yourself. If you want to be serious about cycling and ride long hours/miles... eventually you may find yourself sore. If you do, now you know "You betta butta"...

There are many on the market, I've tried the three above personally, but here are some others you may want to check out:

Dznuts are very popular and kinda the man's version of Hoo Ha Ride Glide...

If you're not careful about saddle sores they can become serious hazards. People who have ignored them have gotten infected and needed medical attention. Be careful about ingrown hairs, take care of them immediately. These are sensitive topics, but something a long distance rider will deal with. Never shave or conduct excessive grooming when you're planning a long ride or rally, this may lead to serious issues (take it from me)...

If you have any suggestions about info related to slathering up the goods, add a comment below so people can read it. Ok, I'm off to butta up :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The New Blog - Cycling Anonymous

Hello everyone, I'd like to welcome you to my cycling blog... today, I realized I had a problem... and instead of keeping quiet about it, I decided to share it with you. Maybe you're a professional rider, avid cyclist, crazed mountain biker or thinking about starting out. Let me say up front that this blog will be funny, raw, honest and sometimes rude... If you enjoy, subscribe by email or RSS feed and tag along for the journey... I hope it's a long one!


I started about a year ago with a hybrid like this from craiglist... for $200. I didn't know anything about cycling, not even enough to properly air the tires.

I figured it would help me see if I would be committed to riding anything, at 41 then... I wasn't sure if I would take to the hobby/exercise or if my knees would allow it. I ended up riding this bike a couple of times when I figured out I might like it. But I SWORE I wouldn't be "that person"... those Lance wannabees running people off the trails in their fancy little outfits.

Just a couple of months later... I looked like this:
I still joke with my "dealer" about my transition. The Trek was good, a woman specific design (WSD) in aluminum. Price point for this is around $960 without any upgrades. When you add in accessories, gear etc... I figured I'm in. Stuck now... like many of you, I need to make a serious investment to encourage myself to stay with it.

After riding my first "real" bike, I realized I'm to old to be on aluminum anything. The aluminum bikes just end up transferring all of the road to your back and... your bits. I did learn a lot about what I wanted and what I didn't want. Sometimes the later is more important... I also learned that it doesn't have to hurt if the bike fits right. I realized I actually enjoyed it, even though I wasn't very good at anything yet. I was so out of shape that 10 miles seemed like a milestone... yup, 10 damn, long, hateful miles... that's how I felt about it then.

Now, I need to move up and get more serious... I needed comfort and style.  I did allot of research, and I mean ALLOT! While riding I often found myself attracted to one specific brand... but my dealer thought I would prefer to stick with the Trek brand. The Trek Madone is the brand Lance most commonly uses (made for him of course).  I tried several of them and wasn't exactly satisfied.

I asked for a Cervelo RS to be brought from the other store. There was only one left in my size anywhere and I was hopeful. Cervelo is a beautiful piece of equipment to ride, watch, hear... the RS model was designed for the distance rider, not crit racing. The bike arrive, I test drove and it was love:

I put it on lay-away and had to take the photo to show everyone while waiting. Starting price for this model is $2,600 without upgrades. I had to wait to take him home:
it was a big day of celebration! But it was January... and even in TX... it was cold outside. I needed winter gear:
Notice the color scheme change... yup, I spent more cash on new colors... cause I'm "one of those people" now... a snob... I wear it proudly! I have summer gear too, because I'm writing this blog in August and its seriously hot outside!
This photo is from June after a 42 mile ride... yes, I'm as red as my USMC jersey! I was training for my first rally, the Colin Classic:
Front of Rally

Behind me
By now I'm hooked... like a junkie... Next up for me is the Hotter N Hell 100 aka HHH ride August 25, 2012 this year. I signed up for 100 miles and hope to hell I can do every last one of them. There will be a blog dedicated solely to that, with video and photos.