crotch numbness remedy: standing on pedals?

When doing a distance ride, crotch numbness is a well-known nuisance
caused by less blood circulation locally, and possibly by pinching
nerves. Taking a break is the received wisdom. And/or take part of
your weight on a handle but I don’t like that very much on the
old-style KH handle I have on my Dikke Dame.

I recently developed a habit to take breaks WHILE RIDING. I will, each
20 minutes or so, slow down and ride for about half a minute while
fully standing on the pedals. Indeed this will render me bobbing up
and down on the seat, but I like to think that this constitutes extra
massage for the affected area, increasing the effectivity of the
procedure. I can ride longer now until I need a proper break.

Comments? Do other distance riders do something similar?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I ride like a princess. - john_childs

I do this from time to time, although it’s not my preferred treatment as it lowers my average speed for the ride and I’m kind of metrics-obsessed right now. What I’ve tried to do instead is just identify “leaning” opportunities along the ride. Maybe it’s a Stop sign, or mailbox, or car, fencepost, brick wall, basically anything that I can pedal up to, stop, and lean against using one of my hands. That allows me to get up out of the saddle, crack my knee back into place, have a quick drink, and re-rack as necessary before sitting down and getting a final fine-tune on crotch and pedal positons before starting out again.

I’ve been trying to ride further and further using only this technique for a break every 5 miles or so. Longest so far w/o dismount is about 15 miles.

Re: crotch numbness remedy: standing on pedals?

Whats next, massaging saddles? Every man will want one!

yeah i tend to do the same klass bill

surely you actually stopping for a rest will lower your average speed more than if you slow down and stand up out of the seat for a while?

i dont think you should take your average speed just from riding time it should be from the total time out! it almost gives you a false sense of being fast.

its almost like a sprinter saying they can do a 70minute marathon (i.e. roughly 10 secs per 100m) but they couldnt keep this up for a marothon distance

Just a thought thats all

I end up doing about 5 revs standing per mile, plus take breaks, plus push on the handle, plus move fore and aft in the saddle, plus change the angle of my lower back. Others report that changing saddle height also can help, and I’d imagine that even changing saddle tilt might help too.

Think – a five minute break every five miles. On a 60 mile ride, that is 11 breaks for a total of 55 minutes. Not such a big deal.

In five minutes you can wipe your brow, adjust your crotch, stretch your back, hamstrings, and neck, and clean your glasses. In addition, your crotch has some time to evaporate and cool down. Heat and moisture are the key ingredients in chafing.

After time that break shortens up to, say three minutes. For a 100 mile ride, that is 19 breaks for a total of 57 minutes. Same amount of break time as the 60 mile ride.

At 10 mph (10 hours riding), that’s only 10% additional time for a continuous investment in overall body comfort. Resulting overall speed drops from 10 mph to 9.1 mph. Not such a big deal.

Obviously, being in a groove means that one doesn’t want to stop. However, by periodically getting off the uni, one can “invest” in long-term sustainability.

Yeah, mathmatically you’re no doubt correct, but I’ll stick with how my mind works. Some people like yams for comfort food, some potatos.

I do this very thing. I don’t have handles. I utilize the “massage”.

First, I ride and ride. After about 6 or 7 miles things could be getting uncomfortable so I slow down and stand up for about 5 revs. Ride 1/2 mile or so. Stand for 5 revs. Ride some more. Eventually I need to hop off and walk around anyway. Helps to let the leg muscles do something else for a bit.

I know I’ll never do it until uncomfort forces the issue, but it occurs to me that we could stave off the onset of this condition by “doing about 5 revs standing per mile” beginning at the end of the very first mile. Maybe this would mean less frequent standing breaks at the end of the ride.

I just get off and walk for a few minutes.

Not only does it instantly take all the weight off your seat, but it allows you to stretch out your legs (and get to the muscles that are not involved so much in distance unicycling)

The added energy and power I feel as soon as I remount would easily catch up to where I had been if I had just stood and pedaled for a while.

I’m a big fan of a 1 or 2 minute walk break each hour (or half hour as the ride progresses)

My longest ride has been 6.5 hours, 85KM (and 85km the day before)

I use the slow down, stand up technique on distance rides with large groups where it is not clear who wants to stop and when. Tom Jackson and I have frequently slowed down and bobbed up and down for some tens of seconds when we ride the Iron Horse Trail with a group. Sometimes we stop and, when Tom Blackwood is in the head, spin his wheel up to 25mph so he is more satisfied with both his average and top speeds for the ride.

Remember to spin it backwards to give him more riding time during the 1,000,000 mile warranty. :roll_eyes:

Walking is for me not only the best way to rest the crotch but also a way to rejuvenate the whole body. After 50 metres of mindful walking I am ready to swing myself into the saddle again. Walking is a remedy and a prophylactic for all kind of ailments. To take a walk once in a while actually adds quality to the uniriding I think. Besides, the GB-handles give me a perfect grip to walk with the Coker in front of me.

Re: crotch numbness remedy: standing on pedals?

On Wed, 27 Jul 2005 02:32:23 -0500, “Catboy” wrote:

>Whats next, massaging saddles? Every man will want one!

Not to mention women :slight_smile:

Glad to see that I’m not the only one doing this, although there are
apparently protagonists and antigonists (as always).

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I ride like a princess. - john_childs

Yesterday, 3 MUC Cokerists took a very nice 20 mile ride thru the country side. We used the regular bobbling massage technique and report it is very effective.

We would tend to forget to do it, so I set my Ironman Triathlon watch to beep every 3 minutes. Early in the ride we’d do every other beep cycle. Later in the ride (miles 12+) we were slowing and bobbing on each 3.

I had to laugh several times when our peloton stood and bobbled in unison for 10 or so seconds, then settled in and raced off again.

Funny looking as a group, but 100% effective against numbness. Prolongs the onset of soreness too.

Egad! Or possibly, gadzooks! You rode so far and so fast that your crotch evaporated? :astonished:

The problem of resting is a psychological one. Those of us who like to do long rides are probably all driven by the same demons and feel that every dismount is a sign of weakness. Perhaps not, but I know I need to discipline myself to stop and rest, otherwise I push on for “just another mile”, and end up suffering.

A five minute rest every few miles is good for morale, good for the legs and crotch, and can even give you an opportunity to enjoy the scenery, rather than riding for riding’s sake.

On a long ride, I find the following help:
Padded shorts
Padded "longs"over the shorts.
Sit carefully, and position everything comfortably.
Keep up a pedalling rhythm.
Set goals (I’'ll ride until the bridge, or for 20 minutes, or whatever.)
Occasionally stand up to pedal for a few rotations.
Shift my weight about - lean on the handle for a while.
Change my posture - sit up straighter for a bit.
Grit my teeth.

A rest in good time does more good than a rest that’s too late.

I actually just pay someone to ride for me now. Sayanara numbness.


I used to ride in these really thin 3/4 pants, wearing only my boxershorts under em, and I had saddle pain after like 20-30 mins. I now wear boxer shorts, cycling shorts and a thicker 3/4 pants (it’s summer eh? not like you notice anything of it, raining all the time) I hardly ever have saddle pain now… and nothing a 1 min break can’t fix.

Don’t be afraid to dismount, it’s perfectly sane, take a drink, walk around a bit and go on, that way you last longer and it’s actually better for your legs.

Oh, and Klaas, you might want to look at this:

I’ve heard it’s ‘okay’, I imagine you’re using a normal KH saddle now, they’re alright for muni/trials, but not really for long hours in the saddle.

And what inch size is that dikke dame of yours? Diameter that is… (Going to buy a 36" myself, just interested in my fellow dutchmen :p)



My wish: multi-sectional air seat

This is my worst problem with distance unicycling. One problem, even with the nice leather air seat, is that the air still gets stuck in one place and presses there.

Here’s my wish: Any hospital workers/visitors/bedridden patients out there will realize that pressure sores are rare these days. It’s because they have air mattresses which have sections. The sections inflate and deflate at variable periods. Because of this, even if the patient does not change position, the pressure from the mattress moves to another location. I’d like one on my seat that moved from left to right, or across the diagonals of the seat: Inflate the right front and left rear, then switch.

Is this the next upgrade for the air seat…


Hey, I was there too, at least for the start. With all the bobbling and massaging going on maybe it was a good thing I quit when I did. Don’t people get arrested for doing that in public?