Warning: If you are easily offended by talk of boo-boos on the who-ha and a girl touching herself then don’t read this.
Here I am, two weeks away from my big giant bike ride and I can’t ride. Last Saturday, my ride was cut short. I rode 50 of a 70-mile ride, and yesterday was a very disappointing 15 miles of an 80-mile ride. That left me weeping on the side of the road as my teammates road off without me. I’m worried I will not physically be ready for the Fondo. My coaches tell me otherwise. Tiffany, the driver of the SAG wagon, made me feel a little better. She told me she and my coach had talked about my situation the previous week and both agreed that I have what is needed mentally to get me through the event. The word stubborn or bull-headed comes to mind and that alone might get me painfully across the finish line.
I’m not a quitter, which is why having to quit those rides really upset me. This all started about a month ago. Up to that point, I had never had any problem with the area of my body that sits on that hard little seat we cyclists call a saddle. I rode all of last season and most of this with no concerns. We wear padded shorts and slather our parts with chamois butter. Well, some do. Personally, I never use it. I tried it, but never liked the way it felt down there. Think of discharge x 100. Perhaps I should have, but other than a little soreness that would go away in a day, all was very well downstairs.
So here’s what happened a few weeks back. After a 50+ mile ride, I sat in the backseat of my car and stripped like I always do after a ride. It’s best to get out of the sweaty shorts as soon as you possible. I did notice a bit of pain toward the end of the ride so I wondered about it. When my shorts came off, I put my hand down there to feel where the pain was. OUCH! What the hell is going on? Seeing what was going on would have to wait until I got home. I would need a mirror.
We ladies have a bone right there under the labia and that’s where we come in contact with that hard seat. We take a beating right there, but mostly, we can take it. Training, working your way up in miles, wearing proper bike shorts and finding the right saddle, all work together to keep your girlie bits happy. Mine were happy until that day.
I have what is called a saddle sore. I immediately googled it after I got home and read all sorts of information. Tons of advice, but mostly time off the bike is what is needed. Horror stories, too; like abscesses and hospitalizations. I didn’t want time off the bike, at least not on Saturdays. I figured I would rest during the week. One site recommended getting mole skin and making donut shaped bandages. I did that. I cut a circle about the size of a nickel and hole punched the middle. The donut hole is supposed to work by taking the pressure off the wound. That didn’t work so well.
The previous week I stayed off the bike, but I rode this past Thursday. I thought I was pretty well healed and just went out for a short 20-miler. I shouldn’t have done that. Things were a little angry after the ride. I wasn’t so sure how yesterday would go because of it, but I was determined. With my little donut in place and five extras, I got on my bike. My coach was aware of all this and we were going to take a “play it by ear” approach. At mile 15 we stopped at a restroom. Blood. And just like that, like a prized fighter who has a cut above his eye and they stop the fight, my ride was stopped.
Please think good thoughts for my vagina.