I had another good lesson a couple of weekends ago while on a 25-mile ride in the area with my husband. I had ridden three times since falling on the office club ride a few weeks ago. I had noticed that the last few rides were fairly unpleasant; my knees hurt when I got off and I just didn’t feel like the ride was strong. My thighs burned like the dickens. As the husband and I started our ride that morning, I still felt like I was so off. We were barely out of the neighborhood and my legs burned so bad already. I was like, “What is UP?!” Once we got on the trail, I realized that I was wobbling side to side in my seat. My seat was loose! When I fell on that club ride a few weeks ago, I remember that my seat had become misaligned. Steve had pounded it back in place for me and I didn’t give it a second thought. It all made sense when I realized that. Earlier that morning while getting the bikes ready I had a REALLY hard time getting to the seat bag as it was squished quite tightly between the seat and the rear rack. Over time, I had slowly pushed the seat all the way to the seat post and didn’t even realize it.
THAT explained the knee soreness, the burning in my thighs, the crappy rides. There was a bike shop in the direction we were heading right on the trail so I decided to be a trooper and just make it there and then we’d make adjustments since my seat post is not quick-release and I can’t find my mini multi-tool. I bought a folding Park multi-tool from them and it is now a permanent fixture in my seat bag. Once we made the adjustment and hopped back on the bike, I IMMEDIATELY felt a difference. All was right with the world again. I felt like a new person. I heard the birds singing and could’ve swore someone was playing the “Allelulia” chorus somewhere. It was utterly amazing!
So, the lesson is, folks, to check your bike after a fall or crash or whatever. Make sure things are not loose! I was lucky for me that it was just my seat and not something critical like a wheel or something but I could have saved myself some pain and confusion at the very least. Bike fit is SOOO important. I know you see that everywhere but it really does make SUCH a difference. Maybe if everyone rode a bike that fit them properly, we’d have more people riding regularly. A girl can dream, right?