The quest to fix the pain in my ass

My long delayed and much anticipated bike fit happened last night. Much anticipated because of my excruciatingly painful saddle and long delayed because of my anxiety about said bike fit. Now, logically I would not be apprehensive about an activity that would increase my comfort on the bike. However, human beings are usually not logical and I am no exception to that rule. I think the unease stemmed first from not knowing exactly what would happen at a bike fit and then the fact that I am still not 100% okay with how I look. Silly, I know, but since I had no idea how a bike fit would go, I was nervous about being scrutinized while I was on the bike, in my not so flattering bike clothes! So instead of acting like a sensible being, I continued to suffer on the bike, all to avoid whatever potential scrutiny might happen. Now you know that I avoid things that I’m nervous about when just confronting those issues would make the stress over those issues go away. Somehow, even the knowledge that just confronting issues head on will give me peace of mind and heart is not enough to get me to actually take any action.

But I digress. What motivated me to finally call the bike shop was a little cut in my tire that I discovered when I was out for my ride on Sunday. I was thinking I needed a new tire, and was afriad to really ride until I had it looked at. So I finally called to see about going into the shop. So now you know about the part of my personality which only allows me to get things done in a timely manner if I have a hard deadline (RAGBRAI is another example- that hard deadline got me to finally buy a bike). And I think we all know how this story ends- the bike fit was fine, I didn’t feel uncomfortable or scrutinized, and I was nervous for nothing.

I’m not sure if I can convey to you the amount of pain my saddle caused me. I have never been kicked in the nuts, so I can’t say how it compares to that. But I can say that it felt like a small person was stepping on my crotch with all their weight. Getting rid of this pain apparently wasn’t going to happen with a few minor adjustments. We talked extensively about where the pain in my lady bits was happening. Basically, I was not sitting on my sits bones at all- my lady bits were supporting my whole weight on the bike. I don’t know if this is my fault or the bike’s fault. In the end, the saddle was exchanged for a new, wider, saddle to accommodate my large butt (or rather, my widely placed sits bones, common in women), with the saddle tilted back a bit and a shorter stem to force me to put more weight on my sits bones.

I don’t think this fit fixed the problem. There isn’t as much pressure on my lady bits now, but there still is some. I have to actively push myself back to relieve the pressure and sit totally on my butt. It was hard to judge how much of an improvement these adjustments made, as I was already pretty sore from sitting on the saddle for the duration of my bike fit. The rides I do in the next few days will tell.

(side note: tire was fine, didn’t need to buy a new one. And the guy inquired if I had a trainer, as there was so much wear on the tires. I said, nope, I just ride a lot! He seemed impressed.)