First, I got a Stages left-crank power meter for my mountain bike. The change has been phenomenal. Instant feedback on technique means I'm really focusing on getting faster rather than just building aerobic capacity as a proxy for power output.
That set the stage for joining TrainerRoad's training program. So far, that's been awesome. I'm clearly getting much stronger & faster, and I like the variety it provides over something like Time-Crunched Training Protocol.
And I've upgraded GPS unit, replacing my old Garmin Edge 500 with a new Edge 130 Plus. Wireless sync has been awesome, and the screen is so much clearer. Both units support structured workout downloads from TrainierRoad, but the workout screen on the 130 Plus is so much better than what's available on the 500.
I also decided to try using a base layer just for grins, and I'll never go back to just a jersey. I'm using a Pearl Izumi sleeveless mesh base layer, and it keeps the chilly days from being too chilly, and noticeably helps make hot days manageable as well.
I've never had trouble with saddles before this year. But now... I do.
I suspect that the biggest reason is that I've been doing much more training (indeed, most of my training) on flat fire roads along the Santa Anna River Trail. On trails (where I did most of my riding until now), there's much more weighting & unweighting the saddle, shifting positions, etc.
Whatever the reason, saddle sores have been a persistent problem for me for the last few months. So far, I've been lucky. They haven't caused any disruption in my training or gotten beyond merely annoying. But they're not going away, and I want to get that resolved before it becomes a real problem.
On the calendar, the next two weeks are rest & prep for a race in Big Bear followed by a recovery week. So the plan is already calling for very little time on the bike with lots of rest, and workouts to maintain fitness rather than build it.
I won't be doing the Big Bear race, so I'm going to take advantage of that low volume to get some extra rest & minimize my time in the saddle. I'm hoping that doing just 2-3hrs over the next couple of weeks will let my sores heal completely.
I've also ordered a new seatpost that will give me more fine-tuned tilt & setback options, and I have a new saddle with a slightly wider body & more padding that I hope will help spread some of the pressure & minimize hip rocking.
And finally, once I'm healed I'm going to book a bike fit at Bosco Bike Fits to get my bike fit nailed down properly. I've never had a proper bike fit, and I like to think that if I had, I'd wouldn't be dealing with this now.