Ouch.  My crotch hurts.

I went for a bike ride this morning that, according to the Google, which tracked my every move thanks to the cell phone in the pouch under my bike seat, was 19.3 miles from start to finish.  I hadn’t gone much more than 2.75 miles before my crotch hurt.  Google didn’t tell me that.  That’s my best scientific wild-ass guess.

My crotch kept on hurting after I’d ridden five miles, then ten miles.  Past ten miles, my crotch felt kind of numb.  But now that I’ve been off my bike for almost three hours, my crotch hurts again.

My question to you today is: Why can’t anybody make bike seats that don’t hurt my crotch?

When I bought my bike, a Trek old enough that it comes from the era when they still made them in the United States, it came with one of those butt-cleaving saddles so narrow that only my thirty-year-old ass could ride it for any length of time, although, to be honest, even at thirty my butt complained about it.  At some point early in my bike’s career, I replaced it with a generic bicycle seat I bought from a generic store like Target, I forget.  Then, maybe five years ago, I took it into a bicycle shop here in Monona for a tune-up and, while I was there, I spoke with the owner of the shop about the problem my butt had with bicycle seats and asked him if he had a more posterior-friendly seat.  He showed me a few models that might answer my needs, I picked one, and he installed it when he did the tune-up.

I’ve been riding on that seat ever since.  Much of the time, it was a pleasing experience, but in the last few years of bicycling I’ve noticed that I don’t have to go very far for my crotch to start hurting.  My fifty-seven-year-old butt is really very soft and bony compared to my thirty-year-old butt.  Like many people, I’d give almost anything to be thirty years old again, if for no other reason than it wasn’t agony to sit on a wooden bench or a bicycle seat back then.  This wouldn’t be a huge problem if I wasn’t such a big van of riding a bicycle for the sheer pleasure of passing the time.  I’ve also recently acquired a kayak I like to paddle around but, once again, the seat is a problem:  it’s make of fiberglass, basically a hard plastic bucket, and so not very comfortable.  I bought a gel-filled seat cushion this spring and it helps, but only a little bit.

The problem, in the end, is my butt.  It’s an old butt, and it’s only getting older.  There’s no replacing it.  There may be a way to beef it up, but that’s likely to require a lot more work than I’m willing to put into it at this point.  It’s just not a butt made for long bike rides.  Not that that’s going to stop me.

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