To be a strong rider, you need saddle time.
To get saddle time, you need to be comfortable.
To get comfortable, you need the right shorts (bibs).
To find the right saddle and shorts (bibs), you need to experiment.
Or be lucky.
When I resumed my riding in 2003 after a long layoff, I chose a Fizik Arione saddle. It was the right choice.
I paired Fizik with Pearl Izumi bibs in the Microsensor flavor. Again, luck trumped science.
Only in the last year, I began to mix in a few other bibs varieties, like Nike, Voler, and now a high-end Assos.
But just a handful. As the trusty Pearl Izumis go threadbare, I tell myself I’m not being unfaitful to the brand.
Truth be told? I think my secret to comfort is chamois creme. No kidding. Anti-bacterial. Cooling. A damn jar, for crying out loud. How important could it be?
After 100 miles, saddles never feel the same as they did at mile 10. Bibs, meanwhile, have done all they can. At this point, your choice of chamois creme may be the most important decision you’ve made.
This shot out of Milan captures the essence of simple transportation.
Anytime you can ride a bicycle while wearing suede shoes, sports coat, V-Neck sweater, and tie, you have a strong sense of self.
Do it when you’re pretty far along in years?
Well, that’s extra special. Check out the string of reader comments below the image as it appeared on the Satorialist blog. It’s a great blog for people-watching around the world. Almost like getting a choice seat in a sidewalk cafe or bistro.
Neck’s a bit stiff and rotator cuffs are sore, but rolling out on the real pavement today for a spell. As cyclist friends like to say: “Rubber side down.” A dose of fresh ocean air is welcome, despite overcast skies and less-than-spring sunny day. Not so bad. 62 degrees with light winds inland. Down the 56 path I head to re-awaken quads, hamstrings and more. Not ready for anything close to this.
Meanwhile, name and number has been provided to CHP. They are trying to confirm and make contact with a person who all indications point to as a witness. Heartening.
Can you imagine Bjarne Riis or Johan Bruyneel attending a press conference in their new team jerseys for CSC or Astana? Or how about Manolo Sáiz, former director sportif for now-defunct Liberty Mutual and Once, which once had pink togs? Rock Racing owner Michael Ball in a black and lime green jersey at the press conferences the day before the California prologue was an odd. And a first I can remember. But stranger things have happened in cycling.
The Satorialist is a renowned fashion blog that does a splendid job getting images of real people in wonderful clothes. Here’s a link to the section on bicycles. Note: none of the bicyclists are wearing Lycra or cleats. Very cool! No helmets, but we’ll save that for later discussion. Looking forward to new Satorialist bicycling material when the weather warms up in New York City.