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Bicycle Touring in comfort – 85 miles a day without hot spots

12 Jul cathy

Bicycle Touring without pain or “hot spots”

Now that we have completed the first half of the Big Ride Across America and are at the 1800-mile point, I cannot believe how comfortable I am every single day.  No sore butt, no need for chamois cream, no hot spots on my body. I am incredibly comfy…why?

1.  My Bike Shorts   These Aero Tech Elite shorts are amazing.  I do not have any need for chamois cream–in fact I gave it away.

The bike shorts from Aero Tech Designs are the best shorts I have ever worn.  The grey Elite chamois pad is a carbon fiber with silver ion threads, which prevent bacteria from building up on the shorts (bacteria is a major cause of saddle sores).  The pad has engineered layers of padding that put different densities of thick and thin padding where needed.  The shorts fit snugly, holding the Elite chamois tight to the skin so there is no bunching.  There are no seams anywhere in the rub zones, thus removing all opportunities for abrasion.

2.  My Saddle

The saddle is a gel-filled seat that is designed for women.  A woman has wider ischial bones than men, so naturally a well-designed women’s saddle would have a wider area for these “sit” bones to rest.  There are gel inserts at the exact location where the bones rest.  Between the gel saddle absorbing shock, and the Aero Tech Women’s Cycling Shorts smoothing out the abrasion issues, the comfort is amazing.  Since I am an old lady, this wider saddle with gel inserts is the perfect complement to my bike shorts.

3.  My Upright Position on the Pedego Interceptor bike

The upright position…different?  Yes, but amazing.  I have been a bicycle geek all of my life.  I love cycling and am a former racer.  So, for most of my life I held the tightly regarded “racer position” for all of my bikes.  I rode for years in the aerodynamic dropped positon.  This is how a serious biker should look and any departure from the “look” means you are not a serious cyclist.  All serious cyclists have that look…dropped down.

If you don’t have to fit the mold, I recommend the upright position.  Again, since I am older, I do not succumb to the peer pressure to fit the “serious cyclist mold” any longer because I don’t care about all that tradition.  I am in it for the JOY and nothing more.  I ride upright and I love it!

No more Neck Pain – Previously in the dropped position, I would get a serious hot spot on the back of my neck, that started to burn after about 35-40 miles, from keeping my head cocked up to see the road.  I do not have that hot spot in the back of my neck now.  This painful cycling issue is completely eliminated by riding in an upright position. I just love the Pedego Interceptor for the way it fits my body.  My neck is completely pain free–even after 100 miles!!!

No more Numb Hands – I used to have numb hands after riding long distances.  The upright position has taken all of the weight off of my hands and the median nerve.  I wear Aero Tech gel padded cycling gloves, which also help to reduce the vibration on my hands.  Previously, this discomfort would cause serious, numbing hand pain when riding in the dropped position.  In the upright position on the Pedego, I have ZERO numbness in my hands.

No more sore butt – The upright position puts all the weight of my body exactly on the ischial bones (where nature intended).  The gel saddle and the excellent Aero Tech Elite bike shorts have eliminated all aspects of the sore butt.  It is truly an amazing contrast to previous tours where I rode in the traditional “dropped” cycling position.  My butt is perfectly comfortable–every day!

Bicycle Riding in Upright Position is very comfortable for long rides.

The upright cycling position is ideal for long rides on a bicycle tour

4.  My Visibility is high so I feel safe.

My clothing from Aero Tech Designs Custom is fluorescent yellow which is the most visible color for motorists.  The jerseys have two 3M reflective tabs sewn into the back pocket.  I have two different fabrics that I  have been using: one is the Coolmax branded polyester and the other is the Aero Tech Standard Wick-Away material.  I prefer the Aero Tech fabric; it is very breathable and feels cottony soft next to the skin.

My Lights – I use a white blinking headlight and red blinking tail light for the entire time we are riding.

My Bike – The fluorescent orange paint on the Pedego Interceptor is amazing.  I get so many complements on the bicycle because it is beautiful, and different.  Just one look at the bike excites people, especially young boys who often shout “nice bike” as I pass by.  I added the orange Ortlieb panniers to carry extra battery power for the Pedego electric bike.

5.  The Ride Organizer – VeloSante – The Big Ride Across America is enhanced greatly by great product choices, outstanding food for energy and a well-planned route.  The food served for the Big Riders is sensible, well-planned and delicious.  The route each day is carefully planned in advance and we are given a cue sheet with the day’s directions.  There is about 20 miles between rest stops where there is plenty of water, isotonic drinks, high-end food and snacks.  The routes are safe and there is a tightly orchestrated  daily routine to keep all riders on the road with support and sag services.  It is really nice to have all our luggage and supply needs cared for by an outstanding team of people.

The bottom line is that comfort rules when you are bicycle touring.  We are seeking more joy in our lives and I cannot find anything negative about this experience.  I am riding each day with utmost regard for our planet Earth and the people we meet.  Every day I open my eyes, I thank God that I am alive and healthy enough to experience this dream come true.  Riding Longer.  Feeling  Stronger.



Day 5 Rest Day at Gonzaga University

20 Jun

The Big Ride Across America has several free days worked into the schedule. Day 5 was at Gonzaga University in Spokane Wa.  A sweet Catholic school with a lot of rich, ornate campus buildings. We spent our off day doing laundry, washing our bikes and filling up on deliciousness.   After several days of camping it was a sweet reward to be able to charge all of our battery devices.  Phones, cameras, bike lights, battery packs and computers all got re-charged and ready to roll.  Once we got our bags re-packed and all the bike repairs complete, we rested.

These fish taco dinners were on the menu.


Thanks to Marich  a family owned confectioner out of California for sending us this delicious (and healthy) chocolate to enjoy.

Washington state has some u-pick strawberry fields for all to enjoy…sweet and yummy.   Thanks for Sharing!


Chamois pads and spandex shorts are best air dried. We all got to do laundry for free in our dorm building.


The next bike ride is Spokane to Sandpoint which is about 76 miles.  The Big Ride starts early, as we report to Charlton and Lynn (ride organizers from VeloSante ) at 6:00 am to load luggage, have breakfast and get on the road early before traffic starts.  We are being welcomed into town by the Bonner County Bee, a local newspaper.

In terms of comfort for long distance cycling, the bike short product testing over the past four days have demonstrated a clear winner.  For long distance cycling, the elite chamois padding is the best I have ever worn.  I have been testing two high end cycling chamois pads.  The Top Shelf chamois pad has always been my favorite and the one I recommend for cycling up to 50 miles.  I have been testing and riding in the Elite Chamois pad which is a thicker, more dense chamois pad.  I absolutely love it. anatomy-of-bike-pad It is miles above the Top Shelf for long distances and has completely eliminated all discomfort in the saddle area.  I am now a big fan of the Elite Chamois pad.  It is one of those pads that feels thick and “diaper” like when you are standing around, but on a long ride (over 50 miles) it is fantastic.  It is by far, the best long distance pad I have ever tested.  I have seen many chamois pads come and go in my years of cycling and this elite pad is excellent. The Chamois has multiple layers of foam that create a dense shock absorbing pillow for the ischial bones.


Women’s Elite Chamois Padwomens elite chamois pad
Men’s Elite Chamois PadChamois Pads



High Visibility on the Bicycle

8 Jun high-viz biking gear

Enhancing Visibility for The Big Ride Across America


This is what we put together to address the bicycle visibility issue:

1. Clothing is Florescent Yellow with tabs of 3M Reflective on the front and back of jersey
2. Flourescent Orange Interceptor Pedego electric bike
3. Fiks 3M Reflective rim sitckers
4. CatEye USB rechargeable blinking lights white on front and red on back

Visibility is enhanced with color during the day and reflectivity for low light conditions in the morning and night.  In the photo you can see the specially designed Aero Tech Cycling Apparel and the Pedego bike I will ride for 3300 miles across the United States.

The BikePedego Interceptor  – I just love the upright position of the bike’s design.  All the pressure on the back of the neck is removed as well as numb hands.  I carry my weight on the two ischium bones that are well situated on the bicycle saddle to support my weight.  Visibility in enhanced with the Pedego bicycle’s florescent orange color.  My new pedego bicycle has a built-in front headlight and red rear tail light.

The clothing: was designed by my staff at Aero Tech Cycling Apparel .  Our designer Evan put the jersey together to show the iconic images of Seattle Washington and the Capitol in Washington DC.  The Start and Finish of the Big Ride.   The fluorescent yellow safety color is creatively combined with some of our brightest safety colors.  The bike shorts relieve the pressure of the ischial area with the Top Shelf chamois pad.  When I am dressed in this outfit, my clothes don’t move and I am very comfortable.  Sandy, who is our sewing room supervisor made sure the garments were put together with all of the best fabric features available in our shop.  Our design department worked through a constant series of adjustments to get the florescent colors to pop with brilliance..   I like the fact that the jersey is loose fitting and has a full front zipper so I can wear it over a long sleeve bike jersey.  I also use the long sleeve jersey as a base layer to protect my arms from the sun.

Extras:  You can see the handlebar case added that will enable me to operate my phone through the plastic on the face of the map holder.   Not showing are the orange waterproof panniers I intend to add before the start of the ride.


Fiks  3M Reflective stickers on the rims.

To get the most out of the reflectivity story that exists in our cycling industry, I added these awesome reflective stickers that are sold online through Fiks reflective.  Fiks is a great business story of a fellow entrepreneur based here in Pittsburgh, Pa.  A shout out to my friend Nick who designed these great 3M Reflective wheel stickers will get them on our bike too!

I added a CatEye front light that is rechargeable. via USB and a blinking tail light that runs 30 hours on a single AA battery.