Comfort Tips
Women's Bicycle Seats
     Women's seats are different than men's, ( and "viva la difference!") but when a woman starts biking she runs into the problem or riding on a saddle originally designed for men,. Even on short rides a saddle can be very uncomfortable for beginners.
     There are mainly three types of saddles, plastic, nylon, and leather. The first two are great for standing up in the rain and bad weather but most of them are hard to ride on for any distance. Most experienced riders prefer the leather top saddle. It eventually breaks into the exact shape of the rider. These are much more expensive, however, and do not come as standard
  equipment on most bicycles.
     Equally important with picking out the right saddle is first learn how to use it. Here are some helpful hints from the expert gal riders in the Los Angeles Wheelmen Club.
     Ruth Barnes, an attraftive young redhead, with freckles on her tanned legs has ridden 12 Double Centuries (200 miles) and 2 Triple Centuriees (300 miles) in the last three years.
     "The best thing to remenber," she told me, "is that you have to get up and do more sprinting. You shouldn't stay in your highest gear all the time. I get off the seat at least once every half mile or so. People in wheel chairs learn this quickly. They raise themselves off the seat slightly every 20 minutes or so just to keep from getting pressure sores. Bikers have to learn to do this. Beginners usually ride on flat terrain and never have to lift their rears off the saddles. Experienced riders go up more hills where it's necessay to sprint more."
     She uses a Brooks saddle and recommends that you wear the regular chamois-lined bike pants with cotton panties underneath. "Some gals wear nylon because they dry out faster but I prefer the cotton because they breathe."
     "You can't ride just once a week. I commute to work three times a week, just 5 miles each way. It onlay takesjme five minutes more to get there when I bike than when I drive. Then I also go on several dinner rides a week of 20 miles of so. This keeps me in shape for the 100 mile rides on the weekends."
     Barbara Houghins, Treasurer
     Getting out of the saddle is one of the things you can do to make riding more comfortable.
of the Los Angeles Wheelmen, uses a Schwinn continental saddle that was well broken in first by her husband, Roy. Roy saind, "You can bursh neat's foot oil on the undersixce of the saddle and knead it to soften it. I also take a new saddle off the bike and beat on it with a baseball bat so soften it." (Be sure it's OFF the bike first!)
     Some people think the water back saddles are better for ladies' wider seats, but others disagree.
     One lady from Harrisburg, Pa. who wa on the Great Western Rally in San Luis Obispo had an interesting round shaped saddle that looked very comfortable.
     In DeLong's 'Guide to Bicycles and Bicycling' book there is a p[icture of a sling saddle made of furniture webbing that looks like it might be more confrotable for amy large bottom but I can't find a bkie shop here that carries it.
     A veteran rider and leader of the Los Angeles Wheelmen's Wednesday Womens rider (Griffith Park pony ride parking lot - 10 a.m.) Millie Munro says, "Women must learn that you don't sit on a saddle, you should straddle it. Most women make the mistake of trying to sit up straight on the saddle, with the handle bars up high. then they complain of back trouble and say riding is uncomfortable. You must have the handle bars down. Then you ride with your weight almost evenly distributed between handlbars, pedals, and saddle. Thats why your arms get
You may not want to be quite so enthusiastic as Cindee Kreutz of Dublin, but standing up helps.
so sore at first. You aren't used to asking them to help support you weight."
     DeLong's book goes along with this He mentions that "when the classic touring position is used the body is leaning forward at a 45 degree angle, the weight on the saddle is reduced, and friction between the saddle sides and legs is lessened. Leaning the body farther forward reduces air resistance and higher riding speeds and faster leg movement are attained. Saddle friction, developing heat and chafing, combined with the potential for longer trips makes these factors important."
     He's not kidding. Be sure to take corn starch along for your first long, hot rride to help the chafing.
     Mrs. Grant Cotter, wife of the President of the Los Angeles Wheelmen, rides a U-32 Troxel saddle which is 2" thick. Grant said, "It made all the difference in the world when I got her to lower the handle bars and bought the new saddle. She has a chipped tail bone and biking used to be just an ordeal for her. Now she looks foward to it. l Labor Day weekend we went 240 miles on the Ventura trip and she loved it."
     Gals, (and guys, too) it's all in knowing how.l Start out a few miles a day, ride often, remember to lift your butt off the saddle every once in a while. If you can aford it maybe invest in a better saddle. Then you can hightail it down the bikeways with the best of them.

from Steve Murtagh, Editor, High Gear, October, 1974
This is very good, Jo.
     You have an immediate sale, of course.
     It is well focussed and specific. It is aimed to the particular magazines' audience and it has an excellent, amusing ending

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