Alright boys, avert your eyes.
Here we go. Let’s talk about the Queen.
I get so many emails on this topic, and I answer them ALL. But I am feeling a little like a broken record. So I decided to do a post about it. Now, this is not the most appropriate forum to discuss this subject, but I really can’t keep answering all these emails… so now, I can just point them to a post. Also, there was a very lively thread in the Tri-Fecta group today around this subject, so I thought I’d piggyback on it.
If you are new to this world (and by this world, I mean MY world), I have nicknames for everything and everybody. Including the lady parts.
Why are you talking about your lady parts on a blog!?
Well, I’m not talking about MY lady parts, per se. Just the lady parts, in general.
Well, because if you have spent more than five seconds (let alone 8 hours!) on any bike saddle, you know that lady parts have a big thing to do with cycling. And I learned very early in the process that one must take care of the lady parts. We need our lady parts.
And hence, I crowned her nickname:
Ah-hem. So, we now talk about the Queen all the time. A few friends in our indoor cycling class call ourselves #QueenKillahs when we talk about an awesome, hard workout.
[Yoda and I seriously saw this on a century ride last year. I about fell off the bike to scramble to get a picture.]
Yes, the Queen.
So anyway, here’s a quick little excerpt from my book about Caring for the Queen:
- We all know that extended periods in the bike saddle are hard on the Queen. Plain and simple, the Queen will start to scream after so many miles. The best way to deal with this issue? Ride more. Seriously. The Queen is a lazy diva who must be whipped into shape and only time in the saddle will save her. God save The Queen.
- Get the Queen a good saddle and proper bike fit — which means a good saddle position. If you are too high in the saddle, your body and hips will move too much and you are ripe for saddle sores (see below). You may need to monkey with the saddle position a little to find the right place. Just be aware that even the tiniest movement can impact your ride and your knees/hips/joints–so a professional bike fit is ideal.
- If you are noticing that the Queen goes completely numb while you are riding, then you are ready for a different saddle. Try a nose-less saddle like the ISM Adamo Road saddle or Cobb saddle. Basically, these seats remove the pointy part of the saddle (or lower it), which in turn, takes the pressure off the Queen and her castle. Some of my friends have had success with the Terry Butterfly saddle, which is not nose-less, but is designed for women.
- In the beginning of your cycling journey, you may need a padded seat cover for your saddle. But please, I beg you, do not rely on this. And get the cover off your bike as soon as possible, because it looks silly and no one will take you seriously in the long run. We are athletes or athletes in training! This is part of it. And with a proper bike fit, you should not need the padding. Plus, you want to get the lazy diva Queen in shape, remember!
- Find some comfy chamois (padded) shorts. You may want a one-piece chamois pad while in the saddle. Sometimes a chamois pad can be made with two or more pieces, causing additional friction and discomfort. Tri shorts have a very thin pad, and are not ideal for long rides. However, if you are into long distance racing, you may want to train in the tri shorts, since that’s what you will wear on race day. I prefer cycling (thick pad) shorts for anything over 50 miles.
- Use lots of Aquaphor, Hooha Ride Glide, Chamois Butt’r, or other lubricant to keep her happy. You can put the lube directly on the Queen or on the chamios in your shorts. On long rides, I do both. Also, you can get the tiny tubes of the lube and carry them with you on long rides. Do not ride longer than an hour without some sort of lube, I beg of you–be nice to your Queen!
- Sometimes you can develop “saddle sores.” Saddles sores are actually skin issues on the Queen or her backyard neighbors, the Humps. Saddle sores can appear from too much unnecessary chafing and movement (forward, backward, side to side) in the bike saddle—which is precisely why a good bike fit is paramount.
- Finally, the Queen may be a better cycling partner when she is completely bald. Less chance for ingrown you-know-whats and ripped-out-you-know-whats. I am undergoing laser to get rid of the stuff forever (I’m going to WIFH in Atlanta–great place!). Lots of ladies in Tri-Fecta go for the full wax (European Wax Center was recommended). Either way, I think it’s better to go it hairless. The less stuff you got going on down there the better–cycling is tough enough.
And one of the funniest reviews of my book on Amazon mentioned how much one reader disagreed with my hairless Queen assessment.
“…Oh, and I think her advice about “the queen” being happiest bald should be taken with a grain of salt. I’ve been riding for over a decade, and I’ve never heard anyone suggest it’s more comfortable to be hairless.”
Do what you want with your own Queen!
If you like riding with a ‘fro down in your cycling shorts, go right ahead. It’s up to you! You can do what you’d like! I’m not the Queen police. Just the Queen Whisperer… okay, maybe that was not the right term either.
The main point is to find what works for you and YOUR Queen and go with it!
And never be afraid to talk about the Queen with other ladies in your tri group. We all have trouble with managing the Queen to the best of our abilities, especially with so many hours in the saddle. Share the love and secrets!