Saddle, Sore: A Women-Only Guide to You and Your Bike

by Molly Hurford

If you were on a ride and sprained your ankle, would you say something to the group you were riding with? Obviously, you wouldn’t just suffer in silence. But what about when you’re out on a ride, and you realize that you’re cramping terribly because you’re just about to get your period? Or you start feeling tingly, or numb, on the saddle? Most women won’t speak up. Most will suffer in silence, come home, and have no idea why they have massive saddle sores—if they even realize what a saddle sore looks like—or how to treat it.

Your level of experience doesn’t matter. I know women from beginners to pros who have questions about their bodies that they aren’t comfortable asking bike shop employees, coaches, or even their gynecologists. We’ve been conditioned to not talk about our “lady parts,” and that touchiness is hurting the female cyclist population, and making riding a whole lot less fun.

Riding shouldn’t be uncomfortable. You shouldn’t be getting saddle sores every ride. Cramping shouldn’t be making you cry on the bike. And you shouldn’t be wearing your underwear with your bike shorts.

Enter “Saddle, Sore”: the first guide that answers all of the awkward, embarrassing, or just plain weird questions that women have had about the bike and their bodies. From gynecologists to coaches to industry professionals, I talked to the experts to find out how to diagnose and treat saddle sores, whether a pad was better than a tampon while riding, what causes numbness on the bike, how to choose a saddle and a chamois, and many other topics.


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