Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I am generally an optimistic person. For example, my approach to balancing the checkbook is, "Why bother? I'm sure it will all work out." I suppose you can guess how that goes over in our household (and who balances the checkbook!).

My optimism has its advantages. For example, I think it is perfectly reasonable to work full-time, be a relatively competent and loving parent, pursue a Ph.D., work on causes important to me in the community, and have a great intimate relationship and a life rich with meaningful friendships. Oh, and finish 45 hand-made objects, bike 45 miles, and do a 45-hour retreat all in one year.

By and large, I'm mostly successful at the above list, which, of course, only feeds my optimism and makes me think I can do more and more. Thus, occasionally, my optimism turns to hubris. I have recently been reminded of this in the most indelicate way.

Case in point--my seat.

I've been thinking...45-mile bike big deal. To any of the Serious Cyclists out there, you're saying, "Yeah, NOT a big deal!" But I am not a Serious Cyclist. No, I am a mere dilettante...I actually bike for mostly practical purposes, commuting to work and around the city, to reduce my own contribution to climate change, to see some new scenery on the weekend, to get a decent workout, and to have fun.

Notice, I said to have FUN. Things I do not find fun include: biking huge hills, biking on roads likely to hold enraged Hummer-drivers, or, truly, any kind of exercise-induced pain.

Which takes me back to my seat. T. and I biked 20 miles this past weekend, through Genesee Valley Park and on to the Erie Canal Trail to Schoen Place in Pittsford, then back home. Great ride! Really beautiful and with a break for ice cream in the middle.

On the way back, and I know some of you cyclists have done this, I occasionally had to stand on my pedals just to relieve the know where. Yes, I have a comfy seat, and yes, I have cycling pants with extra padding so I feel like I'm wearing a diaper.

But nothing makes up for the fact that, since I haven't been cycling that far at a time, my seat endurance, so to speak, is not what it could be.

Ah, the hubris...sure, 45 miles, no big deal. What, do you expect me to actually TRAIN for that?


Rob said...

Hi Julie!

I found your blog through the guest post you did for Jason over at

As for your post, I also constantly run into the problem of the "painful saddle". It usually happens to me on my return from wherever I ride. To alleviate the pain, I usually stop every couple of miles or so and stretch. I figure it's a good thing to do anyways. It also doesn't help that I'm riding on a skinny road bike saddle :)

I read that your live in the south wedge. I just moved to Rochester a couple of months ago and am still exploring. I've discovered the Genesee Trailway and the Erie Canalway, which I frequent weekly. I currently live near The Cinema on South Clinton. Are there any other nice areas that you are familiar with?

Take care!

Julie said...

Hey, Rob! thanks for coming by! And yes, it was on the return trip that I was hurting!

As for other places to ride, I'm sure you read about the Greenway trail over at Jason's. I'm a big fan of that. Between that, the canal, and the Genesee River trailway you could cover a lot of ground! And those are the nicest places I know in our neighborhood. Oh, some people also like to bike in Mt. Hope Cemetery for a change of pace.

Otherwise, I refer to "Take Your Bike: Family Rides in New York's Finger Lakes" by the Freeman's at For road cycling, I recommend "30 Bicycle Tours in the Finger Lakes Region" by Mark Roth and Sally Walters

Finally, I picked up a brochure at a local bike shop called "Trails in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region" which recommends some trails that sound nice, like the Auburn Line trail ( and Ontario Pathways (