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I went on my first official ride yesterday! I know, I know… I’m way behind. During the ride I felt like I couldn’t find a comfortable position for my hands/wrists and also my bottom is sore today! I went for another short ride today with a decent sized hill and didn’t notice the issue with my hands/wrists but did notice my bottom… this will get better- right?!?!

42 Replies

jwsknk, June 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm

I never wear socks, well almost never wear socks with sandals, when it’s below freezing the smart wool socks come out. remember sunscreen on the tops of your feet too and you will be okay.


Megandoty, June 8, 2016 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for the sunscreen tip! I think I agree with your daughters! LOL! I don’t see myself wearing the dreaded “socks with sandals” hahaha


Sandaltan ., June 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm

RIDE RIGHT in sandals


Megandoty, June 9, 2016 at 2:16 am

Whoa! Check out all those sandals!


mootsman, June 9, 2016 at 7:19 am

True, many people think of socks with sandals as geek flags. And why not, I’m proud to be geek. Fashion is not my thing. But I don’t use bike sandals as I’m dedicated to my Sidi road shoes and full road pedals. Anything Italian not only has great ergonomics but is beyond reproach fashion wise (even though I don’t care)… I do ware regular sandals with socks though. Even with sun screen that tender skin fries to a painful crisp. Just to mess with fashion freaks I use the tall black dress socks instead of bike socks with sandals at times.


Craig Parson, June 9, 2016 at 7:42 am

I wanted to add my suggestion on road positioning and bike fit. You will hear differing opinions on both of these subjects but then some people will say the PBR is good beer.

When I ride I never ride “in the gutter”. That would be hugging the white line or anywhere near the right hand edge. Hugging the white line is an invitation to “share the lane with me”. It tells some people there is plenty of room here, you can pass without needing a clear oncoming lane. That is dangerous for you. Some drivers think “share the road” means share the lane, it does not. When someone goes to pass you and then realize they have to choose to hit a cyclist or an oncoming car who do you think they will choose? Also in town with parking on both sides never move into the “parking row” as from behind you disappear over there and then suddenly appear in the lane. Stay visible and stay safe.

Ride in the center of the road when there is not a clear opening for someone to pass and in the passenger side tire track when there is enough clear road. By positioning yourself there you say come on by without leaving enough room to share the lane when it is safe. You also force someone wanting to make an unsafe pass to use the oncoming lane only.

The law now is you must give a cyclist the full lane to pass Remind them by using my advice above.

Always give the “thanks for not killing me” wave. I try to do this as much as possible. Unfortunately there are too many people making us all look bad by acting like entitled jerks. I want to leave a good impression. I realize I am a minor inconvenience and I want to do my best to stay just that not anything worse in the mind of drivers. You don’t see people on forums fantasizing about killing farmers on tractors, the reason is people aren’t encountering farmers acting like jerks on a daily basis.

Bike fit. You have to be careful letting a bike shop fit you. A lot of shops are staffed by inexperienced people or people who are racing focused. What is a sensible position for 1-1/2 hours is not a good position for touring, which is what you are doing. Someone may just be repeating what they read in an article in a racing focused magazine. The most important factor is seat height and bar height. Yes flat or very close to it is usually close to correct for seat angle in most cases. You will want a slight bend in your knee at full extension. Too high and you grind your crotch left to right as you pivot to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke. Too low and you don’t get full power and the front of your thighs get sore from the extra work.

Handlebar position is different for a touring bike setup. A racing bicycles position is about aerodynamics, not long term comfort. A racing handlebar position will only be comfortable if you are putting out enough power to keep your weight off your wrist and arms. That is a tall order for some people on a week long ride. A touring bike to the eye should look like the bars are high because most bikes you see being sold are setup for racing. What people buy and what they need are not related at all. You really need to listen to your body to get adjusted, a 1/4″ in seat height can be the difference between gliding down the road in bliss and blisters. Go for long rides and then use the internet to find the cure for your symptom. Don’t use any rules listing a measurment ie. the bars should be X inches from your saddle in height as a rule, only a starting point. Wrist pain usually means your bars are low. Get the most important things right seat height, bar height, seat angle and bar angle and you should be comfortable long term.

You can see that I ride a recumbent now, but I was actually able to be fairly comfortable on a road bike on Ragbrai in the recent past. Listen to your body and if you do go to a shop be clear you want comfort not speed. Dialing in your bike to maximum comfort is very important on day 6 when it’s 105 degrees. That was a lot of words, did you make it this far?

See you out there,



KenH, June 9, 2016 at 9:16 am

I don’t wear sandals but I don’t see the point of wearing socks with sandals either. However if you choose to let your geek flag fly and wear socks with your sandals please go whole hog and wear black socks with yellow toes! Anything less is just a half measure.


Megandoty, June 10, 2016 at 3:53 am

Kwog- Great advice! Thank you so much!!

Ken- Definitely go for the black socks with yellow toes- hahaha


RoyBoy, June 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

As far as sandals go, in Iowa most experienced riders opt for sandals in the summer. Heck, some hardcore riders even wear sandals on nice winter days too. No socks in summer, wool socks in winter. Yes, I’m guilty.


T. Gap Woo, June 10, 2016 at 10:05 am

KenH: owever if you choose to let your geek flag fly and wear socks with your sandals please go whole hog and wear black socks with yellow toes!


How about one red-striped sock and one blue-striped sock –> the Carter LeBeau Memorial Socks from RAGBRAI in 2014? Geek enough????

See you along the I-O-Way next month.


KenH, June 10, 2016 at 12:49 pm

No those are so geeky they are hip!

I still have the socks, I’m working on losing the spare tire!


Megandoty, June 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm

You guys crack me up!!


Viewing 12 replies - 31 through 42 (of 42 total)

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