2017 is Here—Let’s Make It Amazing

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Dear Reader:

When I started writing the first draft of “Saddle, Sore” three years ago, I thought it was going to be a publish-and-done affair. I had no idea that I was going to end up spending the next three years giving talks, hosting clinics and working on this website and an updated edition of the book. It’s never going to sell a million copies, but I know that it’s helping women (and men!) make their riding fun and comfortable again.

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It’s amazing to me when women tell me that reading my book or coming to a talk made them realize being numb while riding wasn’t necessary, or say that they cleared up a saddle sore after landing on this site in a flurry of Googling. And that’s freaking awesome.

But in 2017, it’s not just about the nether regions. (That was a weird line to type.) This site, and the talks, clinics and events that we do aren’t just about skin issues. This is about riding comfortable and happy—whatever that means for you. 2017 is going to have a huge focus on that idea for me. We’ll still be talking a lot about nether regions (I mean, that is the whole idea behind the updated edition!), but we’re adding so much more.

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We started with the Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy 3-Month Training Plan, and we’re going to be hosting more clinics, skills sessions, trips, talks and a ton more. (If you’re wondering who “we” is, I’m talking about myself and my partner in crime and life, SmartAthlete coach Peter Glassford.)

This idea of riding comfortable and riding happy is great because it’s so all-encompassing. Riding should be happy and comfortable, no matter what level of a rider you are. From beginner to pro, we deserve to ride without pain, we deserve to ride with huge smiles on our faces. Whether that happens from dialing in your bike fit, or learning to ride over a root on a trail, or figuring out how to ride in a pack without feeling nervous, or finally having the confidence to join a riding club—we’re here for you to make your ride better.

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Subscribe to the Saddle, Sore Newsletter

We’re coming at this from all angles: hosting more clinics and even planning some bigger trips, setting up more talks for Spring, working on improving this site and newsletterspreading some of my best advice around in different magazines, adding episodes to the Consummate Athlete Podcast that relate specifically to your riding and general athletic health, and of course, sharing the new book.

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So, here’s to a great 2017 full of riding with friends, or solo. Adventuring, whatever that means for you. Trying new things. Getting more comfortable, getting happier. It’s a huge proposition, but stick with me and we’ll embark on this together. Let me know what I can do to make your year really shine on the bike by commenting on our Facebook page, emailing me (molly [at] saddlesorewomen.com), or in here in the comments.

I’m excited!

Happy 2017,
Molly

Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy Launch Party and Interview!

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We had a crazy last week hosting three launch parties for my new book, “Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy“! Huge thank you to the Trek Stores in Toronto, Aurora and Barrie for letting us take over the stores (and providing wine and cheese and a copy of the book to all the people who attended! Amazing!!).

Peter and I both gave mini-talks, hosted a Q&A, but primarily, we had a chance to hang out, meet some new cyclists and connect some people to new local groups, and talk all things bike-related.

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The evening was also a kickoff for Peter’s Trek Canada MTB team, and we were lucky that his three teammates were there to take some photos and chat with the crowd about the life and training of a pro cyclist. They were great!

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Another big thank you goes to Pedal Magazine, who sent a reporter to cover the evening and interview me (watch the interview below), and Canadian Cycling Mag for coming out as well. It’s a fun switch to be on the other side of the camera for a change!

Make sure you order “Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy” today.

PS: Are you subscribed to the newsletter? Click here to get occasional updates, great discounts and awesome advice!

Chill Out Angry Skin (Off-Bike) with Chaffree Undies

If you’re riding a lot this summer, chances are you’re not able to completely escape any angry skin issues in your ‘lady parts area.’ Despite the great care you’re taking—dropping your drawers immediately after a ride, keeping everything clean and dry—saddle sores, ingrown hairs and irritated skin are hard to avoid when you’re sweating up a storm, slathering on sunscreen, and wearing tight spandex for hours at a time since you have so many hours of daylight to ride.

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 2.28.07 PMI’ve talked about how to treat a saddle sore and in the book, I talk about how the best way to let your skin chill out is by going commando for as much time as is possible, but what if you need to ride into town, go for a walk, or do something requiring undies?

I just tested out a few pairs of Chaffree briefs, and I have to say, they were a gamechanger for my slightly irritated skin. I’m usually kind of a cheapskate with underwear, and polyester is not making my skin any happier. But with Chaffree’s Coolmax fabric that’s designed to wick sweat, I wasn’t sweating through my underwear on hot days. Plus, it’s seamless and super stretchy, so it was ultra comfy and there were no seams in just the wrong places. It’s also latex-free and antibacterial, so for those with latex sensitivities, bonus, and for those who are seriously sweating in shorts while walking or running errands, it’s great.

And while it’s not the sexiest underwear out there, I’ve worn much worse—it doesn’t feel or look like granny panties. Under my baggy shorts (not baggies for MTB, just baggy, reasonably fashionable shorts that I run errands in on my bike), I usually end up with some rubbing and chafing on the pieces of skin that were already pissed from my actual bike ride, but the underwear switch honestly changed that. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was increidbly pleasantly surprised by what a difference the panties made. And for women with more ‘folds’ down there, these are a godsend since they’re much wider than your average panty. Definitely keeps everything dry, sweat-free, and comfortable.

That said, I will stress this same thing I’ve been saying for years: DO NOT WEAR UNDERWEAR WITH YOUR CHAMOIS. I love Chaffree for when I’m doing short rides in street clothes, or just for walking around and running errands after a ride. But don’t think this is a free pass to wear with cycling shorts. I will know, and I will be upset.

More info on Chaffree here—and use the discount code Saddlesore to get 15% off of your order!

Women’s Adventure Magazine Comes To Ladies Night

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What You Always Wanted to Know About Bicycling But Have Never Asked

By Carolyne Whelan; Photo courtesy of Damon Bowe and Rose Physical Therapy Group

Throughout sports, so much gear and advice for women is simply a slightly edited version of a design built from men’s needs— “shrink it and pink it,” as the saying goes. Rose Physical Therapy Group in Washington, DC, invited cyclist and author Molly Hurford to share some of the pain-free cycling tips covered in her book, Saddle, Sore, alongside Peter Glassford of Smart Athlete Coaching. Hurford researched doctors, physical therapists, waxers, apparel and component designers, and other professionals to write her book that dispels rumors and disseminates facts. Here, Women’s Adventure presents some of the best information Hurford has to offer.

Read it here.

A Few of my Favorite (Women’s Bike) Things

f052f3f841a911e3aeb222000a1f9e7e_6Her’ Chamois Butt’r: Chamois cream specifically designed for women that actually lasts! I survived a four hour ride on a saddle that I (to be totally honest) hate. And the next day? Things are still feeling great! (It contains aloe vera, green tea leaf extract, tea tree oil, shea butter & lavender oil for their “naturally occurring beneficial properties”)

Raleigh Women’s RX 1.0: Full review is in Cyclocross Magazine (Issue 23), but this has been my favorite new bike to test in recent years. I’ll be keeping it around for sure, and it’ll be a kick-ass commuter bike as well. (Bonus: the color scheme is gorgeous, black with teal and orange accents)

Ortlieb Velocity Messenger Bag: Waterproof, hold everything, and comes ride-ready! It may not have a ton of pockets to organize stuff, but it’ll be coming with me everywhere from now on, considering how easy it made running errands in the rain today!

Single Serving Sports Detergent from Go Soap!: I’m working on a review for sports detergent for Cyclocross Magazine, and brands have been sending me samples. I have bottles too, but what I’m really loving for life on the road is these single serve packets from Go Soap. No chance of spills, no chance I forget the bottle, just sports wash when I need it. So into it!

Jawbone Up: I just got this little Jawbone Up bracelet to try to keep better track of my sleep, and to avoid the burnout I know I’ll hit at Interbike. I picked this over the FitBit because of the smart alarm function, and this morning it definitely helped wake me up! I’m also trying to keep track of food and workouts on there, though how long I’ll keep that up is the question. I’ll check back in after a couple weeks of use and see how I feel about it.

Athlete’s Guide to Yoga App: I’ve been trying to be a bit better about stretching and just daily workout routines in general since I’m all over the place with such a weird schedule. Yoga and corework definitely are the first things to go, so I downloaded this app based on one of my favorite workout books, The Athlete’s Guide to Yoga by Sage Rountree. I figure $5 for an app is better than $20 for a single time walk-in yoga class, though I do tend to love going to them when I can. But with the app, it doesn’t matter where I am in the US, the workouts are about 20 minutes each, and waking up to a new one (there are 5 videos in all) Monday-Friday is the goal.

Osmo Nutrition for Women: This stuff has been seriously amazing. Total lifesaver for pre-race and for post-race (especially when you’re crazy and running around right after the race. Added bonus? Use the blender below to make your own almond milk, mix it with the recovery powder, and it is amazing.)

Giro Sica Women’s MTB Shoes: I just finished a long-term review of these, and I admit, it’s the second pair that I’ve had and I wouldn’t trade them for anything! They may take a few rides to break in but they last forever and hold up under the toughest conditions you can imagine!

Leg Lube: Sounds whacky but when you’re shaving your legs in different water (soft, hard, etc.) all the time, a good shaving cream is a must, but creams can get seriously messy. I love Leg Lube (good for men and women!) because a couple drops make shaving so much smoother (pun intended) and it comes in a cool small bike-lube style container. It’s also airplane-friendly so it can get through security, and one bottle lasts forever. Bonus: no aerosol, and the bottle hasn’t leaked once!

Mavic Bellissima Knicker: I normally prefer bibs to regular knickers. But in this case, I love the women’s Mavic shorts and knickers, because they have a great, more modern style waistband. Instead of being one piece around the waist and super high-waisted, these ride a little lower and have separate panels to make the top almost like a yoga pant with a wider band. I love the Bellissima in particular since it’s simple and black, but has lime green and hot pink piping to add a bit of visual interest. Small warning: they run a little large so consider sizing down from your standard cycling kit size.707b3a4235e111e39b0e22000a9f12cb_8-copy

Rapha Women’s Gilet: Windproof lightweight and packable are the terms Rapha uses to describe their women’s wind vest, and they were right. It’s also wicked stylish, and super practical. I’ve been pretty much living in it as the weather has been turning, and it’s been perfect on rides. Unlike a lot of wind vests, it has two pockets so you can fit normal stuff in them, and don’t always need a jersey underneath (see the picture with that and my favorite baselayer!) It’s not cheap but for something that will last a long time and look much more refined than most cycling gear, it’s well worth it.

Assos arm and leg warmers: I recently did a review of Assos’s arm and leg warmers for Cyclocross Magazine, and while I know the prices at Assos are a bit steep, when it comes to leg warmers, I’m willing to pay for good quality and good fit. I get cut by most legwarmers, but these are wicked comfortable and fit like a glove. Since bringing shorts and tights on a trip takes up a lot of space, I’d rather bring two or three pairs of shorts and these legwarmers so I’m ready for every temperature and won’t have to deal with as much laundry.