I’m back in the saddle after a long six days off to allow a hot spot/saddle sore (for the not so squeamish: big deep blood blister) on my sit bone to heal up. Hot spots on the sit bones and feet are common maladies of cyclists which are preventable by having your bike fitted (and maintaining it), wearing the proper clothing and using body lubes, balms and chamois creams when necessary. I’m not exactly sure how I developed the hot spot. I think it has been slowly forming from the increased time in the saddle. I normally don’t use a chamois cream/balm, while riding, but perhaps I should give them a try, particularly on extended rides. A side note here, one of the most popular chamois cream is the aptly named Bag Balm, which officially is only meant for use on animals, yet it is great for saddle sores and all sorts of other skin irritations.
Today’s ride didn’t offer up too much discomfort on the sit bones, so the 6 days off to drain and heal the hot spot paid off. I did take it a little easy on the ride, taking a mid ride break at Three Oaks Park, yet another great sports facility/park in the area. While enjoying the shade and giving the sit bones a break, a high school color guard team showed up and started practicing next to me. It was actually quite fun cheering them on and watching them bumble their way through the choreography (beats the heck out of catching up on email).
At one point the drill instructor/teacher commented on their, shall we say lack of concentration, saying “I know your embarrassed by having this gentleman watching, but remember, you girls will be performing this in front of hundreds of people” at which time one of the girls responded “but he’s cute”. Guess who was embarrassed then?
I wished them luck and hopped back onto the bike, heading down Three Oaks Parkway to Alico Road, and then crossing under I75 to head back onto Tree Line Avenue. Although the passage on Alico Road under I75 has a clear well marked bike lane, it’s a bit tricky to navigate due to all the criss crossing traffic. It’s definitely not one of my favorite road sections to ride on.
While turning back onto Tree Line Ave, I spotted a cyclist a few hundred meters in front of me. She was going at a good clip, so I went into mini race mode to try and beat her to the airport turn off. I surprisingly had to maintain a speed of a little over 24 MPH to catch up, but eventually caught her right at the air port intersection. While waiting for the light we chatted a bit. Realizing we were both at the same level of riding, we rode back together, maintaining a speed between 18-19 MPH. I can not really describe how pleasant it is to ride with another person. We did not ride in linear fashion, instead choosing to ride side by side so that we could continue to converse. Needless to say, the return ride went by all too quickly. We parted ways at the SweetBay, but not before having made plans to cycle together a few times each week. Perhaps in the near future we can even get some organized rides going.
So onto the actual ride. I took a modified near-30 mile mile ride today, making sure to include the I75 overpass (another high gear cross at an 18 MPH average speed) and a stop at Three Oaks Park. As I mentioned, the sit bone hot spot didn’t feel that bad. We’ll see how they hold up tomorrow as I have a 50-60 miler planned. I forgot to switch on my GPS computer at the rides start (I was chit chatting too much with my wife), so I have no maps or detailed breakdowns of the ride, just the raw data from the bikes CatEye computer.
Route: Tree Line-Three Oaks Loop
Ride Time: 1:47:02
Distance: 28.78 miles
Average: 16.0 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 24.2 miles/h