I am not someone who puts form before function.
In New York City, surrounded by women who can expertly walk for miles in high-heeled shoes, I pound the sidewalk with every part of my feet planted firmly on the ground. (With arch support, please.)
In New York City, surrounded by female cyclists who ride in dresses without breaking a sweat, I don sports clothes and pack a change of outfit. (I really like riding fast.)
And in New York City, where vintage road bikes and Brooks saddles are all the rage, I recently put my coolest-looking bike under the knife. (It isn't pretty.)
Meet Quickbeam, so named for his "woodgrain" paint job and my nerdy love for Tolkien:
Quickbeam is my cheap city bike: single speed, steel frame, few valuable parts to steal. Still, he's a handsome gent.
To match the woodgrain pattern, Quickbeam came with a beautiful saddle.
Although the saddle isn't actually made from wood, it's pretty darn uncomfortable on lady parts. And unless you're experiencing muscle burn from a tough workout or the initial saddle sores of a long trip, there is absolutely no reason to feel pain while riding a bicycle.
After two years of putting up with saddle discomfort (an unusually long period of time for me), I finally decided that the beautiful seat just had to go.
This thin road bike saddle—meant for an aggressive, forward-leaning posture—boasts a cutout for the female anatomy. Quickbeam may look a little awkward now, but the new saddle is so much kinder. I'm already dreaming of long, comfortable rides that won't do damage to my womanhood.
That's how it should be, ladies.
Not all female cycling problems are the same. For an in-depth discussion of women and saddle discomfort, and how to find the right solution for your ride, check out this post by Lovely Bicycle.