Rock bottom…

On my hit list: Specialized Lithia Comp gel, similar to my usual saddle

Map reference: Velosport, Putney

Carbs and caffeine: declined a cup of tea as I’ve wasted enough of Nick’s time

A couple of laps around Richmond Park yesterday left me in no doubt that the Adamo and I were not friends after all. In fact we are now intimately classified as enemies. So I took myself back to Velosport, where Nick tried me on another saddle and generally shuffled me about. Apparently I sit too far back on the Adamo to get the benefit of it’s design. Eventually I trotted home to collect the Giant I have been riding for four years and we swapped the saddles over, not before Nick took careful note of the angle I had been riding the saddle at. Apparently 6% down is pretty extreme and not recommended. Oh, ignorance is bliss.

So finally comfortable on the LaPierre, I suggested that we hunt the shop for a similar saddle. To his credit, Nick instead pulled up the Specialized website, and suggest I buy a racier version of the saddle I was comfortable on. He says his reading around fitting for women has taught him that women are particularly difficult in the saddle area, whereas he has never found a saddle he couldn’t sit on. There you go, men are from Mars…

I said I was going home to spin. Nick told me not to be such a fool with my still aching back and charged me with stretching instead. So I have done four YouTube workouts. In the end, Sugarpop http://www.popsugar.com/fitness seemed the best, but there are thousands to go for. The thumbnail pictures are interesting for some, suggesting they are not necessarily aimed at middle-aged Domestiques.

Yes, Nick you are right, my ITB http://www.active.com/cycling/articles/tight-it-band-3-simple-exercises-to-fix-it-now is very tight (hence the odd left leg stroke), and my hip flexors too.

Note to self: see if the Specialized Concept store will let you try before buying

Fit for purpose

Hole lot better: a popular choice at the moment for men and women alike

Map reference: Velosport, Putney http://www.velosport.co.uk/

Carbs and caffeine: some French biscuits (from ski holiday… no biking but plenty of fresh air)

The ‘fit’ doesn’t refer to me this time, the fit was for the bike. I had um-ed and ah-ed about where to go to get the new LaPierre fitted, but in the end it was a no-brainer to go to Husband’s ‘pet’ shop. They’ve built a bike for him in the past and repaired and prep-ed his bikes for his various challenges. It’s good to develop a relationship with a local shop. For a start they know as we walk in that we are not about to buy one of their top end bikes and that saves a lot of time.

We were late for our appointment with Nick as Husband had to fit some pedals onto the bike and lower the seat so I could sit in the knife edge saddle. It was a very uncomfortable ride to the shop; the brakes seemed out of reach and my rear end was certainly getting a bum deal.

Nick was sympathetic to my complaints (no need for biological vocab, just pointing and pulling a face was enough) and started by fitting an Adamo saddle. They are the ones that look a bit like a tuning fork, with two prongs at the front and a large gap in the middle. Enough said, I think we know what that geometry is all about. Then it was down to measuring and tweaking and sticking fuzzy dots on me… and then videoing the result. I don’t like me on camera and this was no exception, but the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures were a revelation. I looked much more comfortable, and less hunched up… although with my shoulders I shall always look more like a rower than a pro cyclist.

I can’t wait to have a proper go on some familiar hills so I can feel the difference. Well, actually, I will have to wait for the weather to clear … again