Thursday, 18 February 2016

Smooth riding!

We're off  on a long adventure soon. Yes, that's right. From London to Rome by bike. And not via the shortest, easiest route either. It's going to be epic.

We've signed on with a mob called Ride and Seek for a trip that we expect will be quite different from our journey across Australia last year. Ride and Seek's "unique historical itineraries" was a major attraction for us, hence our participation in "Hail Caesar!" We can't wait and are already counting down the days.

While average daily ride distances are about the same as what we did across Australia, we expect the terrain will be quite different, with a lot more and much longer hills. But to compensate, player comfort level off the bike should be significantly more salubrious.

It will be a month in the saddle. Long rides. Day after day. What could be better, right? But what if one gets saddle sore ... or a saddle sore ... or even saddle sores? Could get a bit uncomfortable n'est-ce pas?

For non-cyclists reading this, just imagine sitting on one bit of very, very thin, very very narrow foam padding stuck to something just wide enough to cradle your sit bones. (Thick padding is no good because it makes you sweat too much and doesn't allow your backside to breathe.)

Sit just here ...

Now imagine doing for four to six hours. Or maybe more, if the going is very long (150+ kilometres) and difficult (read lots of hills).  You do get to stand up once in a while, but you won't want to do this for too long at a time because it's harder to stand and pedal than sit and pedal. Your nether region is going to get sweaty, whether it's a hot day or not. If it's raining, your behind will get wet that way too. You definitely don't want any chafing down there, do you? That's where chamois cream, - also known as butt butter - comes in.

Anyone who's done much serious cycling knows the solution: a little bit of butt butter beats the bad bum blues!

So, what do you use?

In today's highly-hyped, uber-trendy cycling scene there is a wide range of choice in the way of chamois creams. Older riders will remember the bad old days of loading up the natural chamois (made from real, dead chamois) that we had sewn into our shorts with lashings of lanolin before heading off for a long ride. (You might even remember being able to buy replacement chamoix.)

Nowadays things are much better south of the border, with brilliantly shaped, seamless, synthetic laser-cut  chamoix in all sorts of styles and funky colours. And then there is the bewildering range of chamois creams that are on the market. Which leads us to the searching question:

what is your chamois cream of choice?

I've tried lots of different creams over the years, and my bet is that your butt has too. From the ... udderly, smooth and slippery ....

Slip, slop slap???

... to the trendy, top shelf stuff ...

Ass-os anyone?

... to the esoteric stuff from the Antipodes (we've got the best bike riders, why not the best butt cream?) ... 

Comfort Downunder?

.... to the style setters from Europe ...

Better butter up, boys and girls

... to my current favourite, also from the sunny southern hemisphere ...

Robbie's Rub

So what is your current cream of choice? How about filling out the survey at the bottom of the blog (if you can make it out against the background image)?  Or ... maybe leave a comment ... or, if you feel like it, why not both!

See you on the road, hopefully not squirming!


  1. Looking forward to following this!

  2. Looks great. Will follow your trip with interest. Surprised that you aren't crossing the English Channel using Pedalos (paddle boats) though.