Riding Rut

This pandemic period has been a bit rough for me as I’m sure it has been with most people. Coinciding with the pandemic I’ve been dealing with some health issues and have spent so much time at my Doctors office, specialist doctors, the ER and test facilities… oh yeah almost forgot about the eye surgery and all the appointments that went along with that. When Nova retired we’d hoped to do more traveling for riding. The pandemic and all my appointments have kept us from doing so and now we’re in the middle of a home remodel project that we need to stay near-by for. We’re in a riding rut here going the same routes and to the same handful of places day after day. I talk a lot about traveling once this home project is done but the virus is ramping up again and I feel unmotivated to plan anything and even a little apprehension and anxiety about leaving home. Almost as if I’m afraid to leave a comfort zone that I’ve created during this time. I reluctantly celebrated a birthday a week ago and feel like I’ve aged 10 years since my last one.

I thought the first step to get out of this rut and motivated again would be a simple bike overnight leaving from home but the night time temperature right now is just too hot for camping so that’ll have to wait. Maybe a couple days trip to another city to ride like the last time we rode out-of-town in Tulsa would do us good. We’ll see how things play out.

Despite the riding rut I am very thankful that I’m able to ride even if every ride seems the same. The bike rides have definitely been a way to temporarily escape all that’s been happening this past 16 or so months.

A Sore Subject

Within the past year or so I’ve had 2 bouts with saddle sores which is 2/3 of the saddle sore incidents I’ve had over my nearly 50 years of riding a bike. It’s hard for me to determine what the cause is because I ride so many different bikes and saddles. I notice one evening I have a saddle sore… Is it from the bike I rode that day or the one I rode the day prior? Is it even a specific bike or saddle? Is it my clothing, hygiene or anatomy? I ride nearly daily, I’m a heavy sweater and that’s from every square inch of my body, I don’t wear cycling specific clothing and I tend to stay in my sweat soaked clothes after my ride as I’m usually doing sweat inducing things around the house. I’m sure all of the above contribute to the problem.

The previous time I just kept riding through the healing process. It did take a long time though for the 2 sores to totally go away. This most recent time it was just one side but bad enough that I took two days off from riding.

To heal, the routine I’ve been following and what seems to work is applying an antibiotic like Neosporin in the morning and a hemorrhoid medicine like Preparation H in the evening to shrink the cyst that’s below the skin. I apply an ointment like A&D to my rear before I ride and I immediately shower after I ride.

I now ride in fear of developing saddle sores. Not sure what to do. I could try riding just one bike for several days in a row to see what happens instead of riding a different bike each day of the week. I could try riding in chamois shorts but I dislike them and it seems ridiculous to have to wear them for rides to the grocery store etc.. I think I’ll continue with the A&D or some sort of butt butter and showering immediately after returning home and hope for the best.

If anyone else has had any experiences with saddle sores I’d like to hear about it.