The Value of a GREAT Saddle

With two weeks to go before racing in Abu Dhabi, I needed to get in a long ride.  Unfortunately works sometimes gets in the way of training.  However, work sometimes leads you to great places to train as well…CALIFORNIA!!!  Since I had to do a bike drop off to get it tuned up for the big race (not to mention I am trying to keep the February price tag as low as I can keep it), I decided to rent a road bike while I was out in California.  After making a few phone calls, I was able to get a hold of a Cannondale CADD9.  Thinking that it would feel similar to my CADD8, I accepted.  Once I arrived to find that there were no 52’s (since they were selling) I was stuck with a 50.

I had my pedals and helmet, fit to a small bike; I was ready to ride, Northbound on the PCH into some fabulous hills and headwind!  I was so blessed to have a new-found friend on this ride (I am getting quite lucky on these destination rides this year) who rode every mile with me.  Not only was the workout great, but so was the view and the company.  The gift of getting to ride with someone who shares the same point of views about racing and coaching was incredible.  Feeling the warm sun on my arms and smelling the salty sea air was better than any hour with a therapist could give you.  I felt free.  I felt passion.  I felt alive.  This is why I train.  This is why I race.  Can anything else in life feel this good?

Feel this good…everything except for the saddle!  A lesson learned when renting  bike; not only do you need your own pedals to match your shoes, your own helmet to sweat in (because who wants to put someone else’s old heat sweat onto your’s), but also BRING YOUR OWN SADDLE! Words cannot express the importance of this little word of advice.  Mind you, the first 20 miles were not that bad.  But the next 50 miles I spent trying to find a tolerable place to rest the goods, but found the only solution was to get off my bike every 10 miles for a quick relief.  WOW.  Three days later I am still feeling the effects of it; and I was perfectly fine the day after IM Lake Placid.

The point of the story here is: spend the money on a not good saddle, but a GREAT saddle.  If you plan on traveling and rent bikes while on the road; buy 2 great saddles that are the same.  Well worth the aftereffects.

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