The Fundament Qustion

Please forgive me for returning to The Basic Question. I’ve had a revelation and a revolution on the Road to Darlington. It was quite a shock to have bum problems on the last three days of LEJoG. Never had serious problems before but 17 days in the saddle probed my weaknesses. This is despite riding Dover to Durness and France North to South earlier this year before LEJoG. The puzzle was “why and how to change things to improve matters?”. After long thinks and talks to my son-in-law, John Booker, I have stopped using the mountain bike shorts as first layer, threw them out, and adopted the “buy good shorts, with a well-designed pad, and wear only them next to the skin” approach. So I bought a new pair each of Endura, Chris Boardman and Castelli shorts and threw all the well-used ones out. This has worked so far on uninterrupted 50km rides but has yet to be tested on 100-120 km, all day, routes. On the basis of experience so far, confidence is rising that the new regime will work.

It may be that all you guys and gals out there knew this all along but I have the feeling everyone has to come to their own conclusions, based on one’s own anatomical set-up. In any case, it may be a necessary route to perfect comfort to do a bit of deep thought and experimentation. I’m reading Mark Beaumont’s book on his 80-day epic round the world. Yes, my little rides can’t compare to his 240-miles-per-day. However, he does mention this area of discomfort from time to time. Does everyone have discomfort on long rides and just accept it or has someone found the perfect comfort zone? Maybe it is very personal and there is no single solution for everyone. Intriguing – but can’t find any evidence on this. If anyone has found a serious study, with statistics, please let me know.

And . . . . the subject of draughting keeps running round in my head. After lots of searching the internet, I can’t find a serious scientific study giving the assistance benefit from a rider in front versus speed and distance from said rider. You Tube has lots of trials with power meters and somewhat confusing tests, which I have not found to be entirely satisfactory. And never the graph I am looking for. Again, any assistance in this area welcome.

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