I suppose I had to suffer the affliction eventually, though why it took so long I am not really sure. Looking back, I would have to place the blame, contributing cause rather, on July’s record-breaking heat.
What, pray tell, am I rambling on about? To put it bluntly, my not quite baby-smooth, middle-aged rump now has a couple rough spots. Not that I spend my days caressing my derrière, but in comparison to the rest, these spots are sandpaper. I will spare both of us photographic representation.
It wasn’t until the tail end of a longish 100+°F endurance training ride that I began to notice irritation on my tail end, and areas in the vicinity. Had I been riding around the neighborhood, I could have ended the ride early. Home was still 20 miles away, however, so I had no choice but to press on.
Adding insult to my gradually increasing injury, my saddle suddenly tilted back on a couple bumps along the way. Trying to ride on a tilted saddle doesn’t make for a good cycling experience. Doing so with a sore bum even less appealing. Multi-tool to the rescue! Without a torque driver, though, it is difficult to know how tight is tight enough for the saddle bolt. Too tight, and the carbon saddle post is toast.
Back home, safely in the confines of my bathroom, I peeled off my stinky synthetics and sun screen covered HRM (heart rate monitor) watch. And then I turned to examine the damage in the mirror. Baboon butt rivaling the worst red-hot diaper rash ever.
I crawled into the shower. It felt good to scrub of the remains of the sun screen. It did not feel good when soap, never mind water alone, made its way to the hot spots. Fortunately, the stinging was over quickly, allowing me to stand under the cool spray for a few minutes.
Carefully patting dry, it became apparent a little treatment would be good idea. Had we a baby in the house, a home remedy would have been readily available. We discovered Mary Kay’s peach-colored something in a squeeze tube not only worked the best on the fiercest baby rushes, but was also pain free and an excellent preventative. But that miracle salve was gone long ago.
I went for the only other option I could think of: Chamois Butt’r. Apparently marketing via free single-use samples available at a few tour events had worked on me two, three, or four years ago. I found my tube, squeezed some Butt’r onto a finger, and smeared it upon my wounds. The pain subsided for about 3.14 seconds.
Then it resumed with a hornet sting’s intensity. It was then that I realized Chamois Butt’r probably contains alcohol. The label confirmed that deduction. Not a lot, but definitely enough. The pain faded over the course of a few minutes. For all I know it was really only about ten seconds, but you know how unpleansantries feel like they drag on forever. I went to bed sore, but not sore enough to keep me awake.
The single application of Chamois Butt’r seemed to do the trick. I still had semblance of a baboon’s bottom, but the pain was generally minimal. By the time I was completely healed again, the skin at the site of the boniest part of my once tender tush is rather rough.
Since then, I have been largely successful in avoiding a repeat of the stinging redness. As they say, an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure.
If the ride is short, say under 30 miles, the only thing in my bike shorts is me. Longer rides, and I usually apply Chamois Butt’r to the chamois before carefully pulling the shorts up the rest of the way, to avoid getting the Butt’r where it isn’t wanted. So far, so good, tested all the way up to a multi-day ride totaling 218.4 miles. (That story is coming soon.)
This post is not intended to be a commercial for Chamois Butt’r. There are plenty of opinions about which saddle sore preventative goop is best. Chamois Butt’r works for me, though I may opt for something else when the tube is empty.