I've sort of avoided writing about this long saga because I wanted to have a nice conclusion before I just started whining.
So I tried to tough it out...
and I tried...
and I tried...
I bought every kind of underwear known to mankind, and even tried riding without it... no luck.
I even bought some really expensive biking pants with a HUGE gel pad in the rear... seriously, it felt like I was wearing diapers, but to no avail.
I read all about proper bike seat adjustment and made some changes which helped a tiny bit. But finally, after returning home from several long bike rides in so much pain that I was literally in tears, I decided that something was just not right.
I even went so far as to have my sit bones professionally measured to make sure I was buying the right sized seats, but all to no avail. I just couldn't escape the feeling that there was simply "no place to sit" on any of these saddles. But according to the measurements and the charts, my sit bones were positioned correctly.
Then one day, after returning from a bike ride in so much pain that I literally had a hard time sitting in the bathtub, it occurred to me... I don't really need fancy measuring devices to tell where the pressure points are... it's frickin' bleeding obvious at the moment, because those are the two points from which all pain in the universe is currently emanating!
So I measured from pain point to pain point and it came out to 160mm! 160mm?!? That's a good 20mm wider than what the fancy measuring device had shown, and significantly wider than your average female sit bone width, AND, about 5mm wider than all of the anatomical saddles I had purchased! Suddenly it all started to make sense. Apparently, I just have a big ass!
Soooo, the next day, having finally decided that if I could afford to buy a zillion bike seats, I could afford to treat myself to socks without holes in them, I ended up at Target. While I was there, I wandered past the bike section and noticed a cheap seat that looked much larger than all of the expensive saddles I had been trying.
It was big and heavy and made by Schwinn... which CatMan said wasn't a very good company, but it had the strategically placed hole, and actually looked like it might be wide enough for my portly rear end.... and at this point I figured I really didn't have much to lose.
Except for one little thing... It just felt like the darned thing wasn't on straight.
I turned the seat so it's angled a bit off to the right... and amazingly... THE PAIN DISAPPEARED!
I have absolutely no idea what conclusion to draw from this... I do have LOTS of problems with my right hip, and my right knee is the one that I blew out a few years back, so maybe I'm just built a bit crooked.
All I know is it sure is nice to be able to ride 30 miles with no pain.
I guess in the end, after six bike seats, two pairs of bike shorts, every kind of underwear ever made, and a total sh!t-load of pain, it all boils down to this...
I'm just a big-ass woman who's slightly off center.
No surprises there!