David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
08/07  Oh No! Casey's is Leaking!
08/08  Yo dawg I heard you like creeks
08/09  Low bridge, everybody down
08/11  Camping in Suburbia
08/12  Camping on a bunker
08/13  Amish on Bicycles
08/14  Ohayo Ohio!
08/18  Saddle Sores and Boredom
08/19  Houses houses houses
08/20  Neither see nor be seen. Now bike!
08/21  Down and Up in Pennsylvania
08/22  I don't want to scare you
08/23  Yard elk in the mist
08/25  Pine Creek Trail
08/26  Welcome to New York
08/27  Oswego
09/03  Erie Canal
09/04  Road Closed
09/05  Vermont
09/08  Old Stage Trail
09/09  New Hampshire
09/10  Hapless Trails
09/11  Mainely tourists
09/13  Mainely Traffic
09/14  The Hills!
09/16  Arcadia National Park
09/17  Mainely ATVs
09/18  I am farther east than you
09/21  North into Real Maine
09/22  Mainely Trees
09/23  Annoying Noises
09/24  Baxter State Park
09/25  Mainely Bear Hunters
09/27  Mainely Sick
09/29  Mainely Trespassing
09/30  All Done
10/01  (pictures)
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Saddle Sores and Boredom

2011-08-18

tl;dr: My saddle pains have grown unbearable. It took me half the week but I have finally secured a new saddle.

This is a long post, but it's not really that interesting.

On Monday, I packed up and departed my motel room in Wauseon around 11am. (I was late because I had work to do.) By 11:30 my butt was aching. Again. I hate this new saddle. I had well over 450 miles on the saddle by this point, and it definitely hadn't broken me in. But it was getting awful close to just breaking me.

Also, often I delay putting on sunscreen for a few hours every morning in an effort to build up a tolerance. It turns out that there is a big difference between avoiding sunscreen at 7am and avoiding it at 11am. Ouch. One more pain.

I stopped for lunch in Swanton and start calling any bicycle shops that I could go out of my way to visit. Nobody carries Brooks saddles. I guess that's because even the cheapest Brooks costs about $100. My previous saddle was a Brooks, and as warped and over-used as it was I dearly miss it.

I spent a few miles on the Wabash Cannonball trail where it was actually paved.

I'm sure that complaining about an uncomfortable bicycle seat is something that can be considered a "First World Problem", but complain I shall. I pushed on through the day groaning with every mile. Eventually after about 70 of these painful miles I decided that this was ridiculous. So I got myself another room at the Double A Motel in Fremont. I worked out a plan that would have a new saddle overnighted to me, and I'd just stay at that motel and wait. I ordered a Brooks B17 from amazon.com. It was late in the day so the best I could hope for was two-day delivery.

One might conclude that I have a fairly high tolerance for shabby motel rooms. This would be mostly accurate. But the Double A just grated on me. The room smelled like cigarette smoke; causing my sinuses to stuff up. The bed was hard as a rock. I probably should have put my sleeping pad on it. The internet barely worked at first and soon gave out altogether. And why won't that fly die?! I dreaded staying there for another night.

Tuesday morning I logged into amazon.com to check my order. Somehow, the order review has a different description than the item page. I had ordered the B17 S; S indicating a women's model of the saddle. And, apparently, there's a big difference here. Fortunately I was able to cancel the order before it shipped.

I didn't place another order. I packed up and left as soon as I could.

More pain. More ache. I downed some Advil, but that didn't really help. Now my legs were starting to ache. This was probably do to all the adjustments I had been making to the seat height and placement in vain hopes of finding a "sweet spot". The sunburn wasn't too bad, but all in all it didn't help my mood.

This part of Ohio is flat. Not North Dakota-flat, but still flat. So not much to see.

Around 2:00 I reached Norwalk, and I gave up again and checked into the Norwalk Inn. This time I would get a new saddle for sure. Because I had some work to do (on Friday), and I because I probably needed the rest, and (mostly) because I was expecting another two-day wait I booked the room for three nights.

The new saddle arrived the next morning. Turns out it was being shipped from Indianapolis. I had ordered a different (even more expensive) saddle. Because of amazon.com's vague descriptions in terms of bicycle saddles, I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting other than it was definitely the men's model. (Normally I'm more particular when I order, but I was more concerned about time than anything else. Cheap, fast, good; pick two.)

My new saddle is freaking beautiful. It looks awesome, and a few test rides show it has promise. A Brooks can take up to 300 miles to break in. So a few more days of discomfort. But at least there is hope. That hope shall sustain me when I think about how the direct and indirect costs of this saddle have easily surpassed $300.

But now I have two days to kill. I already paid for the room, and I really should rest.

Wednesday I decided to visit a local fabric shop and commission a new sleeping bag system. As one might conclude from previous trips I absolutely cannot predict weather. I had packed my cold-weather sleeping bag. That thing doesn't even begin to be comfortable until it's 50 degrees out. Of course, had I packed my warm-weather sleeping bag it would probably be snowing. So I decided I would just do away with orthodox and go with layers. I now have three bags: silk, linen and fleece. Each for a different temperature or all combined for when it gets cold. And none of them have zippers. Of course when it gets really cold I will need to add yet another layer, but it will still be better than trying to use a one-size-fits-all sleeping bag.

Of course, layered sleeping bags doesn't sound like a novel idea, but try and find one! I swear some patent troll must be sitting out there laughing as the entire sleeping bag industry is blocked from innovating. It's probably the same patent troll that keeps me from being able to purchase a camera gun. Camera Gun! Imagine being able to practice without wasting ammo? Imagine being able to hunt without actually having to kill stuff? Imagine how cheap something like that would be to build with today's technology? Die Patent Troll, die!

I also found a pair of non-lined wind pants at K-Mart. Do you know how rare those are? As if nobody could figure out how to wear tights under light-weight pants?

That still left me with another day to kill. So far I've watched a movie, finished off the latest seasons of two series, and made progress on plowing through Dune (more on that journey in the future).



Pemberville


because it's so flat here


Wabash Cannonball


cleaning the rails


green B17

contact me at le@liverworks.com
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