Monday, September 1, 2014

Wardrobe Malfunction

For the past week CatMan hasn't been feeling very well, so our bike riding time has been limited. While this is a definite bummer, it has given me the opportunity to do a bit of casual errand-running bike trips and sort out some "wardrobe issues" that I was having on old Gertrude.

Old Gerty decked out with baskets for running errands
Now, longtime readers might recall that back when old Gerty was my primary ride, she and I had some "issues" in terms of rear end pain. To make a long story short, she was a real pain in the butt!

I finally solved the problem by getting a big wide cushy saddle which had plenty of padding to keep my rear happy, and a nice cutout to protect the "girly parts".

In retrospect I think part of the problem may have been that I raised the handlebars by a few inches to deal with some wrist pain that I was having, and that put me in a more upright position, which both put more weight on my rear end, and put me on a wider section of my "sit bones".

At any rate, the new seat is wonderfully comfortable - so comfortable in fact that I can easily ride her without special padded bike shorts. But... and this is a pretty big but, I now have a new problem.

Comfortable though the new seat may be, it's not very, um... breathable. So when you sweat, which you inevitably do if you ride more than a few blocks in the summer heat, you end up with a rear end that looks a bit like this:

Seriously, those are my capri pants after about a half an hour on Gerty. OY! Now I'm no fashion plate by any stretch of the imagination, but walking around in public with a butt that looks like that was a bit too much for even me to handle.

I could alleviate the problem by wearing padded bike shorts - as part of the purpose of the pad is to absorb sweat. But you know... even though I have come a long way in terms of dealing with my body image issues, walking around the grocery store, or the bank in skin tight bike shorts is just not something I'm really comfortable with.

All of that meant that Gerty had been pretty much relegated to errands of no more than a few blocks.

So I finally decided it was time to tackle this problem once and for all, and made a tour of the local thrift stores with the specific goal of finding shorts that were made of some sort of fabric that would not show sweat. It took me several weeks of hunting but I finally found the perfect solution.

These shorts are actually designed for playing golf, but they're made from some sort of stretchy nylon that dries very quickly and doesn't show sweat at all. See... here they are after a 30 minute hot ride:

Woo Hoo! And they only cost me $3 (OK... probably double that if you include the gas money it cost to find them - but still a bargain.)

So Gerty and I are back in business. In the past week we've been to the library twice, the dollar store, the grocery store and the post office. We even had a route plotted to the pet food store but we were thwarted by a migraine and a thunderstorm - and since Princess was in NO mood to wait for her Rad Cat, I had to resort to the car. Oh well, at least I have conquered sweaty butt syndrome!

So tell me, do any of you who ride ever experience anything like this? I'm curious to hear what other people wear for casual bike riding to avoid this sort of fashion faux pas!