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!


23 comments :

  1. I'm glad you found a solution. I was thinking of something black maybe in runners/exercise shorts.

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    1. Hmmm... black might be a good idea. I do have some black yoga pants, but they attract cat fur like nothing you've ever seen so I don't wear them much. But I'll have to take them for a test ride and see how they perform in the butt department! Maybe they could become biking pants instead of yoga pants!

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  2. I can see how that could be a problem lol! Glad you found something that would work :)

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    1. Oh yes... it was a happy dance for sure!

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  3. Synthetics are your friend, as is performance wool, or close prints (think 90s florals). I rode in khaki shorts a while back and had the same problem. I often ride in one of two pairs of Limited capris I bought years ago (mostly poly). They work, and probably feel much like, the golf shorts.

    I'm less worried about my clothes, tho, than the material on my tush -- I try to wear my pedal panties or wool undies whenever possible. Because whether or not moisture shows is one thing... Whether it sticks around is another.

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    1. Hmmm... pedal panties and wool undies - I've never actually heard of these. I think some Googling is in order! Although, I think that's less of an issue for me since I don't commute to work or any place where I'm gonna have to be for a long period of time, so I can easily change as soon as I get home. I'm still gonna look into wool undies though.

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  4. A very long top hides a multitude of sins.

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    1. Now there's a thought... although, I am 5'8" with a long torso so it's a challenge to find tops that will even cover my waistline! It is worth considering though!

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  5. It's so refreshing to read someone's experiences with those problems nobody wants to admit to. My solution would be dark shorts, probably exercise capris.

    I was thinking of you this morning--we got my son a bike with gears for his birthday a couple of weeks ago. Problem is, neither my husband nor I ever learned to use bikes with gears (stop laughing) and I was wishing for a kind soul who would explain/demonstrate it for us ... at least I found a gear where we don't have problems with "clicking" so he can ride around the neighborhood!

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    1. Yes... I think dark colors would help, and something besides cotton fabric too.

      Hmmm... "clicking" is usually a symptom that the bike isn't completely "in gear" like it's hovering between gears. Depending on what kind of shift levers it has this could mean that the levers or derailleur (the mechanism that moves the bike to different gears) needs adjustment, or it could be that you just need to move the shift lever a tiny bit to get things to line up better.

      Clicking can also mean that you've got the chain going cross-wise, which can be a problem in certain gears - like if you're on the far right gear in front and the far left gear in back, You generally want to avoid those gears for prolonged periods and try to do most of your riding in a gear where the chain is going relatively straight. Hope that helps!

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    2. I knew you'd have an answer I can understand! I found a gear that works and told him to stick with it for now, till I get someone more knowledgeable to take a look at it. Thanks!

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  6. Well now I know why my butt hurt so to sit on a bike seat. I'm glad you found a pair of pant that work I wouldn't want to walk around with a wet butt either.

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    1. Ha! Bike seats can be um.... challenging for sure!

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  7. Yesterday I saw a wide cushy-looking seat at Target that was covered in what looked like a sort of wet suit-like material (is that neoprene?). It looked comfy and might help with the sweats from the other end. I think it was about $27.

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    1. Hmmm... neoprene is not generally known for its breath-ability, but you have given me an idea. I think I've seen covers for bike seats that are made out of wool or fleece. That might be just the ticket! Hmmm....

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  8. I haven't noticed this issue, but maybe it's just because I haven't looked in the mirror? But I do tend toward synthetics in the summer, like what you found, something light-weight that dries quickly seems to be ideal.

    I still need to take Rebecca's advice and invest in some wool unders, though!

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    1. Synthetics do seem to be the ticket. I generally try to avoid them, but in this case I think it's worth making an exception! :-)

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  9. Omg, I found this post so funny! That seat with the carved out hole for the lady parts, and your sweaty shorts! I think I too would have had some qualms strutting around town wearing those, lol. But you really seem so good at finding solutions to all the practical issues. Good job!

    Maria

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    1. Don't mock the afflicted!! :-) Seriously, it is a pretty funny problem until your lady parts are screaming in agony or you're walking around the grocery store looking like you've wet your pants! Oh my... the topics I never thought I'd be discussing! :-)

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  10. Nice find :) I love it when you find what you're looking for at the thrift stores.

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  11. Dude, I love that you posted a pic of your butt sweat pants. I ADORE YOU SO MUCH. bwahahahahahah Ohhhhhhh.

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