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How to Solve Saddle Sores

By Fred Matheny for www.RoadBikeRider.com

A saddle sore can ruin a ride. Even a tiny zit can begin to feel like you're perched on a golf ball. Nearly as painful are crotch abrasions caused by shorts that bunch or have an irritating seam.

Even the pros, hardened by thousands of miles in the saddle, fall victim to what cycling author Arnie Baker, M.D., calls "crotchitis. "Fabled tough guys like Eddy Merckx and Sean Kelly had to abandon races when the pain became too great.

Most medical experts say that saddle sores are actually boils caused by skin bacteria that invade surface abrasions. Remedies have come a long way from the era when riders would put slabs of raw steak in their shorts to cushion the abraded area.

Of course, avoiding saddle sores is better than curing them (or ruining a good sirloin). Here's how:

If You Get a Saddle Sore

If You Must Continue Riding

Sometimes you can't take time off. For instance, you may be on a tour or at a cycling camp.

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