I am a month and a half in to my journey from Canada to Argentina and I can now say that I am physically fit to ride long days. In my first month I encountered various physical issues that I hadn’t anticipated.
The first one was a pain in the butt, literally.
It was my belief that the pain i began experiencing as I first started doing over 50 kms per day was muscle related. And it may have partially been but was more so a surface problem. Upon researching this topic I discovered that possible solutions included tight cycling shorts which just aren’t my thing. Another is buying an expensive leather saddle and getting it heat treated etc. a few times so that it shapes to your rear. No time, no thanks. I found that the most common and easiest solution is adjusting my seat back a little and purchasing some saddle cream. This is the brand I use, I love it and seems to be loved by many.
What’s happening to my hands!?
Another frightening thing that happened was loosing strength and mobility in my hands. Thankfully, my hands are back to their grabby selves. The vibration from long term riding is hard on your nerves. I resolved this by purchasing padded cycling gloves and switching my riding position (where I am resting my hands) every now and then. Changing your riding posture on long rides can also resolve other physical issues like back problems etc. Moving your seat back or forward can also potentially help with this.
I debated including this paragraph since most who want to begin bicycle touring are probably already familiar with this topic. But for the unacquainted, when your pedal is at the lowest point your leg should be almost but not entirely fully extended. Generally, your seat would be at about your hip bone when you’re standing next to your bike.
Time to Fiddle!
Everyone’s different my best advice during your first few weeks of bicycle touring is too experiment with seat positions etc. to find out what works for you. If you’re hurting you should change something as it’s probably only going to get worst.
I hope I didn’t discourage anyone, finding what worked best for me was pretty easy and well worth the awesomeness of bicycle touring!
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