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Butt butter

From time to time, I've expressed my opinion on a few products that have enhanced my cycling experience, most dealing with comfort and safety. But, as they say, I think it will be "a cold day in hell" before I try the item I'm telling you about today.

It's called Chamois Butt'r. And no, you don't spread it on your morning toast. You put it on your, dare I say, nether region. The directions on the package say, and I quote, "Apply liberally to skin and/or chamois before each ride. May be applied to any skin areas that rub together or against clothing. Apply to skin to soothe and soften." They don't actually say put it on your butt, but that's primarily where the stuff goes.

Not recommended for your morning toast.

Those I know who have used this anti-chafe cream profoundly express its benefits, especially when it comes to long spells on a bike saddle. And most notably if one ends up riding in rainy conditions. I recall chatting with a woman, who I didn't know, during a rest stop at a 100-mile Lobster Ride here in Maine years ago, and the first thing she said to me was "Thank God for chamois cream."

Yes, it helps prevent unwanted sores that could keep you off your two-wheeled machine for a few days. But I've never been able to convince myself to try it. The thought of a wet, gooey mess slathered on my backside doesn't bring me any comfort. I just make it a point to keep that area clean and wear good fitting cycling bibs.

If I do "feel" prevention is called for, I prefer the dry approach. I know what I'm about to say sounds bizarre — and I'm really baring my soul here — but if I need something to help control moisture, and thus keep my skin as soft as a baby's bottom, I use a little bit of corn starch. Yes, the common food ingredient. It seems to work for me.

However, there was one incident where my attempt to deal with dampness led to an embarrassing moment. I'd applied some of you know what — and where — prior to a century ride, believing that spending nearly seven hours on my seat could trigger a problem. Well, just after starting, it began pouring with rain, and it didn't let up. About 20 miles into the journey, a woman cyclist came up from behind me and said, "You must not have rinsed out your shorts good enough, because the soap is bleeding through." I knew it wasn't laundry detergent, but there was no way I was going to come "clean" and tell her about my secret formula.

But people must use this butt butter. We had a big display of it at the bike shop, but I noticed the other day we only had two tubes of the stuff left. Be safe and ride like the wind!

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