D33: 石亭→南靖 [Photo Dump] - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

November 11, 2019

D33: 石亭→南靖 [Photo Dump]

The Springs are a Lie

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I cannot remember a time when my ass has hurt as much as my ass hurt today. The saddle that I bought in Jiaomei looks like a perfectly ordinary road bike saddle (even if the shop told me it was a mountain bike saddle, it isn't) of the ass hatchet variety but this one really is an ass hatchet.

When I went to bed last night I could literally feel contusions on my bum. I wasn't quite interested enough in what my ass looked like to be pulling out the phone and taking selfies of my nether regions (and, even if I was, I wouldn't be sharing those pictures publicly) but judicious inspection by touch could tell me that it wasn't very good.

Now, I was under the impression that a "contusion" was slightly different than just a "bruise" but medicinenet.com tells me I'm wrong. In any case, I've got raised up swollen tender skin that's extra warm to the touch and which has received sufficient repeated abuse that it's also gone a little bit numb on the surface. At least, I think it's gone a little bit numb on the surface. I can't say as I often spend a lot of time gently prodding my butt to see how many nerve endings I've got down there and where exactly it's sensitive.

This slight numbness of my skin doesn't mean that it's stopped hurting. Oh, has it not stopped hurting. It's just hurting in a different manner than a surface injury might hurt.

As the majority of my day is spent concentrating on getting to Nanjing (because of the way Chinese characters work, this Nanjing is not the one where the Rape of Nanking took place) and another bike shop as fast as possible, interspersed with episodes of trying to adjust the saddle in the hopes that it will help, interspersed with long thoughtful considerations to just give up and take a bus because it fucking hurts, I don't have a lot of energy for detours or sites of interest.

Which is not to say that there are no sites of interest or detours today. They still happen. It's just that, with the exception of the Memorial Hall to Lin Yutang, they mostly happen on a schedule of "oh look, a good excuse to stop biking and rest my poor sore ass for a while".

I strongly considered skipping the Memorial Hall and going a slightly more direct route (it would have saved me nearly a kilometer of riding) but then I paid closer attention to the characters and realized that the site I had marked was not yet another one of those random memorial halls to some dude I'd never heard of, but, instead, was a random memorial hall to some dude whose non-fiction biography of Su Dongpo I once binge read cover to cover because it was that good.

So, I obviously had to go.

I regret to say that it wasn't much of a site. Few of the things on display were authentic artifacts instead of copies. The pictures and text all looked like familiar stuff I'd seen before in articles or introductions of his books. And I'd only just gotten to start the second floor when someone came up and asked me to move my bike away from the entrance - a request I normally would have bristled at after having specifically been told that I could leave my bike at the entrance, but, the museum was supposed to be closed today and they were doing me a big favor by letting me in at all, so, I went and moved it.

And then, since I was already downstairs, I didn't bother with going back upstairs. Partly because I'd seen enough of the museum to guess that my chances of finding anything better upstairs were pretty low and partly because I didn't want to still be there when the whoever special guest (that was the only reason the museum was unlocked at all today) showed up because I had a mission and that mission was to get myself to a bike shop and get a(nother) new saddle.

When I got to Nanjing, the bike shop owner insisted that a drawstring gel saddle cover would totally fix the problem. I was pretty sure it wouldn't but he was equally sure it would so I tried it out. As with the other micro-adjustments that changed the way in which the ass hatchet was attacking my nether regions, it initially seemed okay. A few kilometers of riding around Nanjing later, it definitely was not okay and I went back to the bike shop to return it and get a replacement saddle.

I'll be honest, I don't love the replacement saddle. It's still too cushioned and I know that the cushioning is going to compress under my weight and become hard and unyielding in wrong ways. However, it's wide enough to sit on in ways that nothing else the shop had new was. One of the dusty parts bikes in the pile of "trade in your old bike for a discount on a new bike" bikes had a slightly torn saddle that, if it didn't have the foam stuffing coming out, would have been a better fit.

I still can't believe that I snapped the metal rails in two places. Not sure if this means I should give up on Gyes brand leather saddles completely or if I should go with one that doesn't have springs.

Speaking of springs, a number of the hotels in Nanjing advertise that they have natural hot springs but the company that piped in hot water from the aquifer is closed so it's just regular hot water heater water now. And, even when they had hot spring water, it was piped to the showers. What's the point of hot springs if you don't have baths?

Today's ride: 53 km (33 miles)
Total: 2,019 km (1,254 miles)

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Megan ShookSoaking in a non-smelly hot spring makes for a wonderful night’s sleep I found in Japan. Hope you can find a comfortable seat soon. Sounds like torture to have to keep going on this one.
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1 month ago
Marian RosenbergTo Megan ShookThe one I've got now will do me at least til' the end of the trip. It's not great but it's acceptable.
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4 weeks ago