Saving your butt on the playa

Riding your bike at Burning Man can be a real pain-in-the-ass!  Especially if you haven’t ridden a bike in a while.  If this is the case you’ll wanna go with a big cushy cruiser type saddle.  It’s the best for short trips and like the name implies, cruising around the playa.

Make sure that your saddle is in good shape and doesn’t have any rips or tears that will allow the vinyl to scrape you when you are riding.  Also the ‘ol “duct tape” repair doesn’t work on saddles at BRC.  It heats up in the sun and becomes a sticky mess.

Cruiser bike seat

One thing that happens out here is that when you stop and get off your bike your saddle gets super heated in the desert sun to about 300 degrees. So if you can find one,  a seat cover might just save your butt. Usually it just slips over your saddle with elastic.  As they say “burn the man, not your ass!”  * Note: a seat cover becomes a necessity when you’re riding with no pants!

Fuzzy seat cover

Mountain bike saddles – the next level

So … if  you’re a more experienced rider, you may or may not know, that while a “cruiser saddle” is great on shorter rides,  the wide and cushy saddle actually becomes uncomfortable on longer rides.  This is totally counter-intuitive, but the big saddles usually start bugging me after about an hour of straight riding.  If you’re riding this much you might want to use a more serious bike saddle.  The mountain bike saddles work the best on the dirt of course.  Bringing some bike shorts or liners will make your burn more enjoyable too.

Mountain bike saddle

Women’s specific mountain bike saddle. It’s a little wider in the back to accommodate a women’s pelvic structure better.

Everything you ever wanted to know about mtn bike saddles in one diagram!

Bike shorts or short liners

For a truly comfortable ride try bike shorts liners (or regular bike shorts) like these under your outfits.

These photos show the bike short liners inside out so that you can appreciate the padding.

  • Pro tip 1:  to avoid what cyclists call “saddle sores” caused by bacteria, always wash or rinse your shorts out after riding.
  • Pro tip 2:  don’t ride with underwear on while you’re using bike shorts.

Skin Protection

Serious cyclists often use ointments or powders to help prevent chaffing or rubbing of their sensitive parts while riding.  There are whole variety of products out there – some of them are shown below.