I took my first longer ride on my road bike after about 15 years away from it. (I have taken a couple of shorter rides, i.e. 10-15 miles, but Saturday was the first longer ride.) I've taken longish rides on my hybrid, and there were no issues. Saturday was torture after the first couple of hours - If I hadn't been using Look pedals and wearing cleats that made it impossible to walk, I might have considered carrying the bike the last 10 miles home on my back!
And the after effects! (I'm still sitting on the edge of my desk chair, and there was also a decided impact on "other activities" that we won't go into. Suffice to say that if I have to choose between the bike and those activities, well ... there'd be a road bike on CL so fast it'd make your head spin.)
The thing is, that saddle was one I'd arrived at after trying more than half a dozen others, and I used to be able to ride it for hours and hours without any issues back in the day. Is it just a matter of toughening up? On the other hand, I am about 35 lbs heavier now than when I used to ride that bike/saddle regularly, and am 15 years less flexible. Does weight and age/flexibility factor into what makes a saddle work for you, maybe because you "hit" it differently?
The saddle woes were just part of the pain. I hadn't ridden with those pedals much - maybe a few hundred miles - before I gave up riding for 14 years, and I did experience pretty nasty knee pain with them on Saturday. I've never experienced knee pain on a bicycle before. Is this common when switching to clipless pedals?
Finally, there was the neck pain - I have had a number of neck issues since I used to ride that bike, including some stenosis and arthritis. Riding with the handlebars lower than the seat was very painful, even with my helmet pulled all the way back. There was too much traffic to just space out and look at the ground in front of the wheel..
All of these problems were from a bike that used to fit me like a second skin. Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas they'd like to share? Do I just need to tough it out and hope the pain goes away, or are there exercise, reconfigurations, etc that others have found to help?
I've decided to spring for a professional fitting. Hopefully I find a solution, otherwise the road bike goes into retirement and I'll just ride my hybrid.
BTW - aside from the pain, the ride was awesome, and I was really happy that, after losing 40 lbs, I can now climb some of the hills that I was afraid to even attempt a few months ago. So, even if I need to give up this bicycle (or make it a lot less roadie-ish), it was a win.