While I have found the cycling fraternity generally an opinionated and helpful community to be part of, on reflection it is funny how some pieces of knowledge are not so readily imparted between us. Cyclists are more than happy to discuss the ins and outs of how to change a puncture, how to get up a hill easier, what cadence to cycle long distance etc but I have come to realise that while men are very good at imparting that to us females there is a certain piece of advice that often seems to be overlooked and it is, in my view a particularly important one, if you cycle reasonable distances.
The piece of advice I am getting at is how to look after your bottom. It is very important that you do look after it to avoid getting sore, nasty skin grazing and worse-case scenario blisters which can be so debilitating you won’t be able to sit on your saddle.
So the key then is to first of all go commando – yes ladies you too. Absolutely no pants or heaven forbid g-strings to be worn under your shorts as they cause friction which inevitably leaves you with an angry rash and eventually grazing. Invest in a decent pair of cycling shorts with a good pad for your seat – spend as much as you can afford – I swear by DHB shorts and pay around £50 - £60 a pair. The first few times you wear them, Vaseline the seams inside your shorts (do not wash it away) and put some cream on your bottom. There is a lot of cream, known as ‘Chamois cream’, on the market and it can be expensive but you don’t need much and it is a good investment. Local to home there is a new one on the market called quite simply Bum Cream by Swerve. Developed by keen cyclist Anj Ubogu, who was fed up getting sore on long rides and having tried a few with varying degrees of effectiveness, decided to create one herself. Find it @swervecycling. Anj recommends you rub it into your groin area, around your bottom cheeks and your pubic bone for best effect. The slippage the cream creates between your derriere and your shorts is what stops you getting sore and rubbed.
Finally, tell your cycling friends and if you spot someone with a knicker line then don’t be shy and share the cycling unwritten motto which is… no pants please we are cyclists.