How I ruined my summer biking

Last year when I dusted this blog off for the coffeeneuring challenge, I was hoping to stick with it. Then I struggled all winter with the fact that we had well below average temperatures. It wasn’t too cold to bike; it was too cold for the gear I own. I could have bought new gear, but the weather was so weird. I mean, people had to cover their tropical plants for weeks at a time. We’re talking coldest winter since they started keeping records. I kept expecting it to warm back up to average temperatures, and it never did. This was a serious betrayal. I cope with a lot of summer misery to get our wonderfully pleasant winters, and then winter wasn’t pleasant, either.

In the spring I rallied myself. I got back out on the bike, prepared to do the whole summer thing again. It quickly became obvious that I had to have a new saddle–the one on my road bike had been transferred from my very first adult bike, and it had accumulated a lot of mileage over the years. The cover was worn through to the foam, and it hurt in places it had never hurt before.

Somehow I cajoled my husband into loaning me his saddle. A lot of women’s saddles are too wide in the middle for me, even when the actual sit bone measurement is fine. And his saddle was perfect. Slightly narrow in the seat, but it came in a version that was wider only in that one measurement. Desperate to get his own saddle back, he bought me one for my birthday in May.

It was miserable. I chafed. My toes went to sleep. My arms hurt. Some good adjustments took care of the last two, but I was still so uncomfortable.

Why was this saddle not just like the perfect one? They were exactly the same! Except, I finally realized, the perfect one probably had 1500 miles of riding on it.

So, right at the beginning of the summer, when I already really hate being outdoors, I had to break in a new saddle. And, because I couldn’t do longer distances, thanks to the saddle, we were having to ride the world’s most boring route.

Triple disincentive!

My total biking, from mid May until now?

122.6 miles.

Yep. I ruined my summer biking. Now the question is, can I recover enough baseline bike fitness to enjoy my winter?