Wondering what to do on your off day? STAY OFF THE BIKE! If you’re new to this site, you may or may not know that I wrote a book all about nether regions and the bike called ‘Saddle, Sore: Ride Comfortable, Ride Happy.’ The book was all about how to take care of yourself—from choosing the right bike shorts to healing a saddle sore—and it’s something I’m immensely proud of writing because I know just how many women it helped and how many conversations it started.
I’ve realized something after years of coaching, racing and riding: we all understand the importance of rest days, but we also all really, really love riding our bikes. The problem here, though, is that we love riding our bikes so much that we ride them even when we should be taking an actual day off.
I’ve had a lot of examples of this over the years. A while back, I wrote about having my first off-day that I’ve had in a couple weeks, and the guys we were staying with wanted to do a morning coffeeshop spin. While I’d been able to avoid saddle sores at that point, my butt was definitely in need of a break from time in the saddle and in a chamois. But at the same time, coffee! pastries! friends!… I’m a sucker for a good coffeeshop ride and hang out. So initially, I said yes. And then, I thought better of it.
I talk to riders all the time who complain that they have saddle sores that just will not go away, and I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that they don’t ever take a real rest day—especially for those who bike to work or use their bike for errands, or who spend most of their social time in the saddle. It’s hard to get a full day away from the bike!
As for me and the coffeeshop ride? I didn’t go. And I missed coffee. But… I felt so, so much better tomorrow when I got back on the bike.
If you have a rest day and you have the urge to ride, I’m begging you: take a day off every now and then. It’s worth it. Let your body (especially your skin and sensitive soft tissue) recover—you’ll save yourself from saddle sore and skin issues later on, I promise.
Instead, you could:
- Do some yoga
- Go for a walk
- Do a quick run or jog
- Do some core strength work
- Catch up on bike maintenance!
- TAKE A DAMN DAY OFF AND REVEL IN THAT FEELING
What do you do on your off days? Do you appreciate them?