Monday, June 15, 2015

Bicycles, Tailbones and Motorhomes

Another beautiful day in paradise.

Every day on planet earth is a miracle to behold. 

 Below is a picture of what my little old wheel estate looks like when traveling  between campgrounds with 2 humans, 1 canine and 2 bicycles. For the time being, we put my bicycle out back on the rear bumper on my homemade bicycle rack, then we put my friend's bicycle inside tied to the table frame on the right (hidden by the seat). This still gives us enough room to walk/wobble through the rig towards the important stuff like the fridge (cold drinks) and bathroom (recycle drinks.)

The two tallish rectangular baskets shown in the above pic, are the pannier baskets I bought from Nantucket Baskets on Amazon (click for details.) 

They have to come off my bicycle while it is riding on my homemade rack on the rear motorhome bumper. The chair the bicycle is leaning against is covered with old T-shirts to prevent any dirt or grease from the bicycle transferring to the chairs.

The pannier baskets hold Harley's beach toy and my electric assist battery.
Sometimes I am close enough to a grocery store to bike there and shop, using the baskets for cargo.

Upon arrival at the next campground, we put my friend's bicycle outside locked to the picnic table so the wheel estate is functional again. 

Below is my newfangled bicycle seat in the pursuit of reducing the pain of my own bicycle riding. 

My tailbone (coccyx) was fractured years ago in the Caribbean islands. At the time I was living up a steep hill in a small apartment building. There were uneven steps to go up and down the hill. I was used to the steps, but one week the island had severe flooding and my neighbor's house was partially destroyed. While repairing their house they redid the communal steps but they were super slippery from some sort of construction mishap. I had to go to work before sunrise. While walking down the outside steps stuck in the side of the steep hill, (not part of the building) I had my legs vanish out from under me while on the slippery stuff and bounced on my tailbone down every one of the concrete steps landing in a pile of injured pride at the bottom. I figured my rear end was so well padded that I couldn't have possibly broke anything. I didn't even know you could break bones back there!

Amazingly I went to work on time as a private chef in an exotic vacation villa perched on the side of a cliff with breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. I stood on my feet for over 12 hours working. Because I never sat down I never noticed I had broken anything. At that point and time in my life, I knew very little about human tail bones or that a well rounded rump like mine could fail to protect. 

Oh well! Live and learn...

Later I found out my tailbone was badly broken. I continued to work each day. I was prepaid under contract. My clients never knew any the wiser. When one runs a one-man business, one has to be the one-man no matter what happens or one's one-man reputation will suffer. I... being the one-man show. I was young and energetic, I had a unique business with a fabulous reputation because I delivered what was promised without excuse. I just kept on working with a big smile on my face. 

Grin and bear it! Don't bring your troubles to work. 

The doc that kept me patched up over those years said "You will seem to heal fine now, but one day when you are older, all these injuries will come back like a vengeance." 

I laughed at him and thought oh I am so lucky! That won't happen to me!

Well, um, I guess I should send him a "YOU WERE RIGHT!" postcard. 

Everyone loves to hear it when they are right. 

That "one day when you are older" arrived... and it was too soon. 

My tailbone just couldn't get comfy on the standard bicycle saddle and I was always in a ton of pain even after short rides. I overcompensated by trying to shift weight and pressure to my crotch and lawdy mercy, I won't bore you with the delicacies of the problems that was causing. (And be grateful I am not sharing this tidbit!)

I did a mountain of daydreaming research via internet and became intrigued with this Hobson Ergonomical Dual Pad Bicycle Saddle. It appeared there would be no pressure on my coccyx or my crotch. 

Ironically before I had saved up enough to buy it from Amazon, Camping World had one at their store in Savannah, Georgia drastically reduced, even cheaper than Amazon. I was so surprised to find a unique bicycle saddle at Camping World. I was buying a part for my motorhome, not even looking for such an exotic item in an unlikely place. It was their only one in stock. I bought it. 

Many miles later at the next campground, I discovered they had sold me a "used" seat because the receipt from the prior purchase of same was stuck inside the box where someone else had bought it from Camping World over a year ago. The saddle was missing a critical custom thumb screw. Had I known that Camping World was selling me previously used merchandise, I would have insisted on opening the box and checking it over carefully. I might have possibly noticed it was missing this crucial part. 

Oh well, I just wanted to ride on my new seat. So in comes Plan B...

All those years living on boats afloat in far flung ports or working on remote islands, I learned how to cobble things back together with all the wrong parts because the right parts will not be in the near or distant future.    

It was too far to travel back to Camping World, I wanted to ride my bicycle with the newfangled seat. My bicycling friend also spend 40 something years living around far flung islands and boats afloat while working, so the two of together can fix something with nothing and keep on going. It might be a bit unconventional, but the end result is a "make it work" moment. 

The new bicycle saddle took some getting used to, because it's such a strange seat, each side of it kind of flaps up and down with the thighs, but it relieves all pressure from the crotch and tail bone. I am running out of excuses not ride my bicycle every day... for the sheer torture, oops, I mean fun. if you can call exercising as fun...

Life is goof. 


  1. I too slipped on a large rock and sat down hard enough to break my tailbone 40 years ago. My solution: I tighten the muscles in my buns to give me more padding and make my spine erect in a car seat when I'm crossing railroad tracks. The result: At 80, at least my tailbone and my spine are mostly good. And I ride on a foam cushion.
    Love your posts and your can do attitude. There is a car cushion that is cut out for the tailbone.
    All the best.

  2. My children laugh at me all the time because I tell them I was raised in the
    make do don't buy new unless you have to time.


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